Did you know that pensioners living in Australia may be entitled to free or reduced-rate ambulance cover?1
In some states, pensioners are exempt from ambulance fees altogether, while in other states they can receive a discount on the cost of their ambulance cover.2
If you’re a pensioner in Australia, the amount you’ll need to pay for Ambulance Cover will vary depending on which state or territory you live in. You may not need to pay anything at all, or you may be eligible for a reduced rate on your cover.
Here’s how Ambulance Cover for pensioners works in each state and territory:
In the Australian Capital Territory, most holders of a Pensioner Concession or Health Care Cards are entitled to free emergency ambulance services across the territory.3
If you’re travelling interstate, it’s advised that you organise travel insurance or Health Insurance just in case.
If you live in New South Wales and are the holder of a Health Care Concession Card, Pensioner Concession Card, or Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, you’re entitled to free ambulance services in NSW.4
If you’re travelling interstate, it’s likely that your eligibility as a pensioner to free ambulance services will be upheld but check with the ambulance regulator in the state or territory you’re travelling to before you go.
Pensioner Concession Card and Health Care Card holders residing in the Northern Territory are entitled to free ambulance transport services.5
However, these card holders are not covered if they travel to QLD or SA and require emergency ambulance services.6 A St John Ambulance membership can help provide cover for NT residents travelling in QLD or SA.
Ambulance costs for all Queensland residents are covered by the state government and the Queensland Ambulance Service.7
If you are travelling from interstate, check with your state or territory’s ambulance regulator to see if they will cover your emergency ambulance costs – in many cases, it’s likely they will.8
In South Australia, holders of a Pensioner Concession Card are entitled to a reduced rate on Ambulance Cover,9 starting from $58 for a single pensioner in SA and up to $75.70 including interstate cover.10 These costs increase for nation-wide cover.11
In most cases, for residents of Tasmania, the cost of ambulance services is covered by the state government.12
If you’re travelling from interstate (except for QLD and SA) and you hold a Pensioner Concession Card or a Health Care Card, then your state or territory’s ambulance regulator may cover your costs.13
Pensioner Concession Card and Health Care Card holders are entitled to free ambulance transport services in the state of Victoria.14
Interstate travellers may be covered by their state or territory’s ambulance regulator.15
In Western Australia, residents aged 65 or over who receive a full Centrelink pension (aged pensioners) are entitled to free ambulance services.16
Residents aged 65 or over who do not receive a Centrelink pension (senior citizens) are entitled to a 50 percent discount on standard ambulance fees.17
Yes, if you want the additional peace of mind of knowing you won’t have a huge out of pocket if you require ambulance services. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that as you age, the risk of you needing to call 000 is likely to increase.
If you’re a grey nomad who likes to travel, then it could be even more relevant. Taking out Private Health Insurance that includes ambulance cover means you’ll have cover even when travelling outside your home state.
If you live in a state or territory that doesn’t provide free Ambulance Cover to pensioners, you can purchase cover either through your state ambulance authority, a private health fund, or you can compare Private Health Insurance policies with iSelect* to find a suitable policy that also includes ambulance cover.
While there aren’t specific Ambulance Cover policies for pensioners, a comparison service like iSelect can help you choose a policy that includes ambulance cover but also provides cover for the type of health issues that are often more important to older Australians.
As ambulance costs can quickly add up, having Ambulance Cover included in your Hospital or Extras Cover can give you the peace of mind that you have some protection in place should the unexpected happen to you, no matter where you are in Australia.
Whether you’re a pensioner yourself or are looking for cover for an older family member, iSelect makes it easy to compare Private Health Insurance providers and find a policy that fits your needs.
Our friendly team members are here to help you choose great Private Health Cover. Give us a call on 1800 784 772.
1 Commonwealth Ombudsman of Private Health Insurance - How Health Insurance Works, Ambulance
2 As above.
3 ACT Emergency Services Agency - Fees and charges, Pensioners and concession card holders
4 NSW Ambulance - Exemptions for NSW Ambulance Fees
5 Privatehealth.gov.au - Ambulance
6 As above.
7 Queensland Government - Queensland Ambulance Service
8 Queensland Government - Information for Visitors to Queensland
9 SA Ambulance Service - Ambulance Cover
10 As above.
11 As above.
12 Tasmanian Government Department of Health - Ambulance costs if you live in Tasmania
13 Tasmanian Government Department of Health - Ambulance costs if you are visiting Tasmania
14 Ambulance Victoria - Transport FAQs, Victorian Pension/Health Care Card
15 Ambulance Victoria - Transport FAQs, Interstate Ambulance Membership
16 Government of Western Australia, Department of Health - Ambulance fees for seniors and pensioners
17 As above.