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Ambulance Cover In New South Wales
If you live in New South Wales (NSW) and require ambulance treatment or transport, it’s important to know that this service isn’t free of charge – you’ll need to pay a fee unless you’re eligible for an exemption, or hold a private health insurance hospital policy or ambulance cover1. Having ambulance cover can give you the peace of mind that you’ll be protected should you need the services of an ambulance.
In this article, we’ll explore how ambulance cover works in NSW, who’s eligible for an exemption on ambulance fees, and what type of cover is available for NSW residents.
What is ambulance cover?
Ambulance cover reimburses you for the cost of ambulance transport and treatment1. It is covered as part of your existing hospital cover, or as a stand-alone ambulance cover.
How much do ambulance services cost in New South Wales?
Ambulance fees are based on a call out charge plus a charge per kilometre. In NSW, the state government doesn’t cover the full cost of ambulance services, but it does provide a subsidy – this means you’ll only be billed for 51% of the total charge if you don’t have a private hospital cover or ambulance cover2.
Here are the fees for road ambulance transport in NSW3, for emergency and non-emergency situations* (as of November, 2018):
|Variable rate (per km)||$3.44||$1.86|
As you can see, ambulance services can become costly if you don’t have hospital or ambulance cover.
Does Medicare cover ambulance fees in New South Wales?
No, Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of ambulance services in NSW, or anywhere in Australia4.
Who is exempt from paying ambulance fees in New South Wales?
In NSW, ambulance services are provided free of charge to holders of the following concession cards:
- Health Care Concession Card
- Pensioner Concession Card
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
If you’re not eligible for a concession and would like to be covered for ambulance services in NSW, you’ll need to take out ambulance cover through a private health fund, this can be as a standalone ambulance cover, or is included in your private hospital cover.
Ambulance Cover in New South Wales: What to Look For
Each ambulance cover policy comes with its own set of inclusions and conditions – knowing what to look out for will help you select a policy that’s right for you. This includes checking what you’re covered for, as well as any limitations or exclusions.
When choosing ambulance cover in NSW, it’s handy to consider the following:
Are you covered for interstate travel?
Some policies will cover you in any state, while others will only provide cover within NSW.
Does your cover apply to non-emergency situations?
Your policy may only cover you in emergency situations, so it’s important to check what you’re covered for and what an “emergency” means according to your policy.
Are call-out fees covered?
Not all policies cover ambulance call-out fees, which may apply if you’re treated at the scene of the incident but aren’t transported to hospital.
What about air ambulance and other transport?
Check which modes of transport are covered by your policy – some will provide cover for air ambulance and other state or private transport providers.
What are the waiting periods (if any)?
A waiting period may apply before you can use your ambulance cover, so take a look at the conditions of each policy.
Am I covered for the entire ambulance fee?
It’s important to check whether your policy covers you for the full amount of your ambulance costs, or whether you need to make a co-payment.
How do I choose the right ambulance cover in New South Wales?
If you’d like to find ambulance cover as part of your private hospital cover, start comparing health policies from iSelect’s range of providers*. To find out more about choosing ambulance cover in NSW, contact our friendly team on 13 19 20.
*We don’t compare all health insurance providers or policies in the market. The availability of policies will change from time to time. Not all policies available from our partners are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, your stated needs and circumstances, not all policies compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. Some policies are available only from our call centre and others are available only from our website. Click here to view our range of providers.