‘What is ambulance cover and should I get it?’

Oct 04, 2019
Compare the Market's health expert Anthony Fleming explains why health cover is important. Source: Getty

Q: I want to know if it’s beneficial just to get Australia-wide cover for ambulance only. I do not have health cover as I am in good health and was thinking of eventualities down the track that might necessitate an ambulance as a thing to consider. Hope you can give me some advice on this. Should getting the basics or extra medical cover be something I should look into?

An ambulance is likely the busiest and most expensive taxi we’ll ever take. We hope that we’ll never need one. Should we require a trip to the hospital, including the additional fees for medical treatment and care, we could be left with skyrocketing bills after a health incident.

In Australia, ambulances are only covered by the state government if you live in Queensland or Tasmania. In Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, and the ACT, the cost can be substantial, adding up to hundreds, and even thousands of dollars more.

Many health insurers include ambulance cover as part of their policies (depending on the state or territory you take cover in). Alternatively, you may be able to take this cover out on its own, although you would then miss out on some of the great benefits of health insurance, like private hospital rooms.

There are two types of ambulance cover available (emergency and comprehensive) through registered health funds, with both types varying depending on your policy. Some offer cover for all ambulance transportation, while others may only provide for ground travel. Others may set further limitations such as cover in your state of residence only, or not covering call-out fees when an ambulance treats you at the scene without transporting you to hospital.

Depending on your state of residence, most ambulance transport services and treatments are covered for pensioners across the country too. Make sure you do your research and compare policies to see if you could be eligible for free ambulance services.

There is always some element of the unknown, that life can be unpredictable. That’s why it’s important to take all the necessary steps to protect your health and wellbeing. Health cover can help you get back on your feet faster and help in mitigating health costs should you suffer a serious health setback. We encourage you to shop around through comparison services such as comparethemarket.com.au for a policy that better suits your circumstances and at an affordable price. Your back-pocket will thank you!

You can see all the states and territories various charges here:

If you have a question for Starts at 60’s health experts, email it to [email protected].

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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