Every year, ambulance services in Victoria respond to over 800,000 calls for help1 – that’s over 2,000 calls a day. However, if you live in Victoria and need to be treated or transported by ambulance, it’s important to note that you’ll be charged a fee for these services, unless you qualify for free ambulance cover.
Ambulance cover reimburses you for the cost of ambulance transport and treatment2. It can be taken out as part of your hospital or general treatment cover, or as a stand-alone cover.
Not all policies provide the same level of ambulance cover, so you’ll need to check what your individual policy includes. For example, are you covered for both emergency and clinically necessary non-emergency situations? What about incidents that take place outside of Victoria?
In the state of Victoria, you can either purchase ambulance cover through a private health fund, via a subscription through the state ambulance authority, Ambulance Victoria, or as part of your health insurance which you can compare with iSelect.
In Victoria, the cost of road ambulance transport depends on whether the event is an emergency or non-emergency, the area it takes place (metropolitan or regional and rural), and the use of a stretcher or a clinic car service (for non-emergency transport). Ambulance Victoria is responsible for deciding the best way to transport a patient3.
Here are the fees involved for different types of ambulance services in Victoria (applicable from July 1st, 20183):
|Metropolitan Emergency Road||$1,234|
|Regional and Rural Emergency Road||$1,820|
|Metropolitan Emergency Road||$333||$110|
|Regional and Rural Emergency Road||$563||N/A|
*Only available in Metropolitan Melbourne and selected regional and rural locations.
|Metropolitan, Regional and Rural||$532|
No, Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of ambulance services in Victoria or anywhere in Australia4.
Under the State Concession Scheme in Victoria, holders of a Pensioner Concession Card5 or a Healthcare Card6 are eligible for free clinically necessary ambulance transport services.
If you don’t hold one of these cards and would like to be covered for ambulance services, you’ll need to take out ambulance cover through a private health fund or a subscription with Ambulance Victoria.
As different policies will have different inclusions, it’s important you check exactly what’s covered by your policy, as well as any limitations or exclusions.
Here are some of the questions you may want to ask about your ambulance cover policy:
Check whether you’re covered in any other states, or only for ambulance services within Victoria.
Some policies only cover you for emergency situations. Check what your policy includes, as well as how it defines an “emergency”.
You might find your policy doesn’t cover ambulance call-out fees, i.e. if you receive treatment at the scene, but aren’t transported to hospital.
See if your policy covers transport by other means, such as air ambulance and other state or private transport providers.
Certain policies will have waiting periods before you can use your ambulance cover, so be sure to check how your policy works.
Find out whether your policy covers you for the full amount of your ambulance costs, or whether you need to make a part-payment towards this.
If you’re looking to purchase ambulance cover included with private health insurance, it’s simple to compare providers using iSelect. We can help you find a policy that gives you the cover you need, so you can enjoy complete peace of mind. To learn more about buying ambulance cover in Victoria as part of your health insurance, call us today on 13 19 20.
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