Ambulance

Medicare does not cover the cost of emergency transport or other ambulance services. You can organise ambulance cover to insure against the costs of using an ambulance.

Depending on your state of residence, you may be eligible for a discount or may not need cover at all:

StateAmbulance Cover arrangements in your state of residence
All states and territories
Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card holders are covered for state ambulance services in every state by the Department.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)Health Care Concession Card and Pensioner Concession Card holders are entitled to free emergency ambulance services. If you are not eligible for a concession and want to be covered, you can purchase insurance from a private health fund.
New South Wales (NSW)Health Care Concession Card, Pensioner Concession Card, and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders are entitled to free ambulance transport services. If you are not eligible for a concession and want to be covered, you can purchase insurance from a private health fund.
Northern Territory (NT)Pensioner Concession Card and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders are entitled to free ambulance transport services. If you are not eligible for a concession and want to be covered, you can purchase insurance from a private health fund or a subscription through the state ambulance service.

Queensland
(QLD)

Ambulance costs for Queensland residents are covered by the state government.

South Australia
(SA)

If you want ambulance cover you can purchase insurance from a private health fund or a subscription through the state ambulance service.

Tasmania
(TAS)

Ambulance costs for Tasmanian residents are covered by the state government.

Victoria
(VIC)

Pensioner Concession Card and Healthcare Card holders are entitled to free ambulance transport services. If you are not eligible for a concession and want to be covered, you can purchase insurance from a private health fund or a subscription through the state ambulance service.
Western Australia (WA)Aged Pensioner concession holders you may be are entitled to free ambulance transport services. If you are not eligible for a concession and want to be covered, you can purchase insurance from a private health fund or a subscription through the state ambulance service.

You can arrange ambulance cover through a health fund or in some states from the state ambulance authority. Health funds may pay or reimburse you for all or part of your annual subscription to your state ambulance authority or the costs associated with transportation.

If you are travelling interstate, check with your state ambulance service, concession card provider or health fund about how you are covered while travelling.

What may not be covered?

Ambulance cover can vary. Some funds provide cover for all ambulance travel, while others only provide for ground travel or have other limitations - for example, they may cover you in your state of residence only, or they may not cover 'call out' fees (when an ambulance treats you at the scene but does not transport you to hospital).

Check with your fund about which type of ambulance cover best suits your needs.

Contact your state government for more information on the arrangements that apply in your state.

Questions to ask about your ambulance cover

Some questions you can ask before joining include:

  • Will this policy cover me when I'm travelling interstate?
  • Does this policy cover emergency situations only, or will it cover non-emergency as well? How does the fund define an emergency?
  • Will this policy cover me for the ambulance 'call-out' fee if I need ambulance treatment but don't require transportation?
  • What is the waiting period?
  • Will I need to make any co-payments towards the ambulance fee?
  • What types of ambulance transport will this cover - for example, will it cover air ambulance?