Ambulance Cover in New South Wales

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Updated 17/04/2024
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Reviewed by Dr Jill Gamberg including new tip. Fees and referencing style updated.
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Written by

Francis Taylor

Updated 17/04/2024

What changed?

Reviewed by Dr Jill Gamberg including new tip. Fees and referencing style updated.
Our aim is to help you make better informed decisions. That’s why iSelect’s content is produced in accordance with our fact-checking and editorial guidelines.

Find out more about how we make money.

View our Privacy Policy.

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I need cover for…

What is ambulance cover?
How much do ambulance services cost in New South Wales?
Does Medicare cover ambulance fees in New South Wales?
Who is exempt from paying ambulance fees in New South Wales?
Ambulance Cover through Private Health in New South Wales: What to Look For
Are you covered for interstate travel?
Does your cover apply to non-emergency situations?
Are call-out fees covered?
What about air ambulance and other transport?
What are the waiting periods (if any)?
Am I covered for the entire ambulance fee?
Mark’s top tips for choosing ambulance cover
How do I choose 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, hold an eligible private Health Insurance hospital policy or ambulance cover.  

Having ambulance cover can give you the peace of mind that you’ll be protected should you need the services of an ambulance. 

What is ambulance cover? 

Ambulance cover reimburses you for the cost of ambulance transport and treatment. It can be provided as part of your existing hospital cover, or as 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.  Kilometres are based on the round trip between the ambulance station, pick up address, destination and return to the ambulance station. 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 cover (as the NSW Government provides a 49% subsidy). There will be additional fees if aircraft, helicopter or a combination are needed. 

Here are the fees for road ambulance transport in NSW (as of April 2024):1NSW Ambulance – Accounts and Fees

 EmergencyNon-Emergency
Call-out fee $428 $338 
Variable rate (per km) $3.87 $2.09 
Maximum charge $7,023 $7,023 

As you can see, ambulance services can become costly if you don’t have an eligible private Health Insurance hospital policy or ambulance cover.

Helpful Tip:

When it comes to Ambulance Cover, you’ll want to look out for your renewal date. This usually comes every year and may involve an increase in your premium.

It’s a good idea to give your insurer a call before renewal time to discuss any changes in your coverage or premiums. This will help you stay informed and give you a chance to explore other options with your insurer, or change insurers, if there’s a big rise in your premium. 

Dr. Jill Gamberg

GP and Lifestyle Coach

Does Medicare cover ambulance fees in New South Wales? 

No, Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of ambulance services in NSW, or anywhere in Australia. 

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: 

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. This can either be through standalone ambulance cover, or it could be included in your private hospital cover. 

Ambulance Cover through Private Health in New South Wales: What to Look For 

Each policy comes with its own set of inclusions and conditions around ambulance cover. Knowing what to look out for will help you select a policy that best suits 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 understand 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, 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 the policy when comparing them. 

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.

Mark’s top tips for choosing ambulance cover

Here’s what Mark Pangrazio, iSelect’s very own Commercial Executive has to say:

1. Check your policy at any time, not just when it’s renewal time.
2. Know what you’re covered for and ensure that when comparing, you are comparing options based on your needs.
3. Get an understanding of any changes to the renewal price.

Mark Pangrazio

Executive – Commercial​, iSelect

How do I choose 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 1800 784 772

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