Ambulance Cover in Queensland

Content OageHero Image CRO Overlay Image

Written by

|

Edited by

Updated 05/09/2023
What changed?
Updated with information for visitors to Queensland and information for Queenslanders travelling interstate.
|
Fact checked
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.

Written by

Francis Taylor

Updated 05/09/2023

What changed?

Updated with information for visitors to Queensland and information for Queenslanders travelling interstate.
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.

Edited by

Laura Crowden

Find out more about how we make money.

View our Privacy Policy.

Compare Health Insurance Policies

Save time and effort by comparing a range of Australia’s health funds with iSelect

I need cover for…

How does Ambulance Cover work in Queensland?
Who provides Queensland’s free ambulance service?
Do non-residents also get covered?
Are Queensland residents covered in other states?
Do other states have free Ambulance Cover?
Where can I compare Health Insurance policies?

Queensland has a lot going for it: warm weather, beautiful beaches and free ambulance services for every resident. That’s right—the State Government actually covers the cost of emergency ambulance transport for Queenslanders.1PrivateHealth.gov.au – Ambulance 

It’s a pretty great deal, and its why so many Private Health insurers don’t actually offer ambulance cover to residents of Queensland because it generally isn’t required. But it’s still worth digging a little deeper into the topic to find out how the state ambulance services work and how far your cover can go. 

How does Ambulance Cover work in Queensland? 

The Queensland Ambulance Service prioritises emergencies. Residents receive emergency pre-hospital treatment and transport free-of-charge. 

The fees for non-emergency transport are also covered. So, if you need to be taken to a medical facility, you might also be able to hitch a free ambulance ride. However, there usually needs to be a good reason behind it.2Queensland Government – Non-emergency medical transport For instance: 

  • If you can only travel by stretcher 
  • If you need to be monitored while travelling 
  • If you’re too embarrassed by your condition to go on public transport 
  • If your condition would cause serious concern to other people on public transport 

For non-emergencies, you’ll also need your doctor to sign a medically authorised transport request. Otherwise, the Queensland Ambulance Service may refuse to send out the ambulance.3As above

Who provides Queensland’s free ambulance service? 

Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) provides all emergency and non-emergency ambulance transport in the Sunshine State.4Queensland Government – Queensland Ambulance Service These fine folks operate under the Queensland Government’s Department of Health and provide one of the largest ambulance services in the world.5Australian Paramedical College – Queensland Ambulance Service: The Fourth Largest of its Kind

However, while the ambulance ride might not cost you a cent, it could be a different story once you arrive at the hospital. If you choose to get treated as a private patient, then you could end up with some steep, out-of-pocket expenses. This is where Private Hospital Cover can be particularly useful, as an eligible policy can help cover the costs of your treatment. 

Getting treated as a public patient in a public hospital is also an option. If you opt to go public, then all your in hospital treatment costs will be covered so long as you hold a Medicare Card.6Australian Government | Department of Health and Aged Care – Out of pocket costs 

Do non-residents also get covered? 

Queensland is a pretty popular place for other Australians to visit. Melburnians and Sydneysiders are partial to taking a break from their sub-zero weather and enjoy some sun for a change! 

Unfortunately, visitors to Queensland may get hit with a big bill if they ever need to use the ambulance services there. We’re talking hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars just for a trip to the hospital.7Queensland Government – Queensland Ambulance Treatment and Transport 

Ambulance Transport TypeCost
Emergency$1,459.09 (flat rate)
Non-Emergency$540.49 (first 50 kms) + $2.19 per extra km

Heck, for interstate visitors just to get treatment in an ambulance and not even need a lift to the hospital, it could still cost more than a hundred dollars at minimum. And the cost really blows out to well into the thousands for visitors who do actually need to be taken to the hospital!8As above  

Ambulance Treatment (No Transport)Cost
Minimum fee$148.19
Travel Costs (No Callout)$20.14 per km
Maximum fee$1,459.09

Yes, these costs are definitely steep for any sun seeking tourist looking to visit Queensland. However, certain people might also be exempt from having to pay them,9As above including: 

  • Under-25s who are full-time students at a Queensland educational institution 
  • Under-25s who are full-time students at an educational institution in another State or Territory but have one parent who resides in Queensland 
  • People who hold a Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) card 
  • People covered by a Workers’ compensation claim under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 or Motors Accident Insurance Fund. 

Private health insurance is also an option for those visitors who normally live in different States and Territories. So long as your policy covers you for interstate ambulance services, you can forward the QAS invoice to your insurer for payment.10As above 

Are Queensland residents covered in other states? 

Okay, so let’s say you’re a Queensland resident visiting another State or Territory. Suddenly, you fall sick or get injured and need to use the local ambulance services. What happens next? 

Well, first of all, we hope you feel better soon! Secondly, there is some  good news: Queensland residents are covered for free emergency ambulance services across Australia. Any children or dependents you have will also be covered.11Queensland Government – Interstate Ambulance Treatment and Transport Information for Queensland Residents 

You’ll just be required to forward your ambulance invoice to the QAS. They’ll also require some proof that you were a resident of Queensland at the time, for example, a driver’s licence, bank statement or statutory declaration.12As above

Do other states have free Ambulance Cover? 

Queensland is pretty exceptional. Besides Tassie, they’re the only State that offers free ambulance services for all residents. 

If you live anywhere else in Australia, then chances are that you’ll need to pay for an ambulance if you ever need emergency services somewhere down the track. Although you can avoid this if you take out Ambulance Cover through a private insurer (or with your state ambulance service).13PrivateHealth.gov.au – Ambulance 

Certain people, like those who hold a Pensioner Concession Card, might also be eligible for ambulance services at a reduced cost—or no cost at all. Check out our main article on Ambulance Cover to find out how it works in your State or Territory. 

Where can I compare Health Insurance policies? 

Many insurers offer Ambulance Cover as part of their Hospital or Extras Cover. Comparing policies from different providers can also be a great way to find suitable cover at an affordable price. 

iSelect can help here, too. You can compare Health Insurance policies from a range of providers using our online comparison tool*. Or, if you prefer, give our friendly team a call on 1800 784 772. It may only take a few minutes to find a great deal!

Compare health insurance policies the easy way

Save time and effort by comparing a range of Australia’s health funds with iSelect

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

Need help with health insurance?

We can help you find a suitbable product for your needs

iSelect does not 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 its providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, your stated needs and circumstances, not all policies compared by iSelect are available to all customers. Some policies and special offers are available only from iSelect’s contact centre or website. Click here to view iSelect’s range of providers