Find out when you will be covered for ambulance trips with Australian Unity
Australian Unity offers ambulance transport through its hospital and combined health insurance plans. It does not have any standalone cover for ambulances, and its extras only plans do not include any ambulance cover.
Depending on which state you’re in and which Australian Unity plan you have, you may be covered in a different way.
How ambulances are covered
All Australian Unity hospital only and combined plans cover emergency ambulance transport, with the exception of Basic Hospital cover and Budget overseas visitor health cover. With these, you have no ambulance cover.
Other policies include limits of $1,000 per person, per year for emergency ambulance transport. The Budget Hospital, Smart Start, Care ‘n Repair and Healthy Travel plans all have these limits.
Some plans will cover paramedic attendance, which is when paramedics attend to you on the scene but do not transport you to hospital. Basic, Mid, Gold and Platinum level hospital cover by Australian Unity includes up to two paramedic attendances per year.
Emergency vs non-emergency ambulance transport
Australian Unity plans will only cover emergency ambulance transport and paramedic attendance where applicable. Non-emergency ambulances are not covered by any plan.
An emergency is generally defined as a life-threatening situation, such as a heart attack. Generally, if the ambulance is using its sirens while transporting someone, it’s an emergency.
Non-emergency situations, where you are not covered, include non-critical transport, such as in the event of a broken leg. It also refers to more routine transport, such as patient transfers between hospitals.
The differences in Australian Unity cover around Australia
Depending on which state you’re in, you might already have ambulance cover. If this is the case, you won’t benefit from ambulance cover with health insurance. Standalone ambulance cover is typically only available in NSW and the ACT, while other states offer ambulance service memberships instead.
- Queensland and Tasmania. If you’re a permanent resident of these states, you are covered under a state scheme and Australian Unity ambulance cover doesn’t offer anything you don’t already have. You do not need an ambulance membership or anything else for complete cover.
- New South Wales and the ACT. Pensioners get free ambulance services for medically necessary transport within these areas and do not get anything from private ambulance cover. Everyone else will only be covered for emergency transport and paramedic attendance where applicable. For complete ambulance cover, look into comprehensive hospital cover or standalone ambulance policies. Residents of NSW and the ACT with hospital cover may be eligible for full ambulance cover thanks to their hospital cover premiums including a contribution to ambulance services.
- Victoria. Pensioners and concession cardholders are covered for free transport and on-the-spot treatment. They do not need ambulance cover with private health insurance. Others should look into hospital cover or membership with Ambulance Victoria for complete cover.
- South Australia. Australian Unity only covers emergencies and paramedic attendance where applicable. For complete cover, you should look into purchasing a South Australian Ambulance Service membership.
- Western Australia. Aged pensioners receive free emergency and medically necessary ambulance services. Seniors over 65 receive a 50% subsidy on service costs when incurred. Veterans are automatically covered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. In country WA (postcodes 6041-6044, 6084, 6207-6208, 6211-6799), you can get Country Ambulance Cover through St John centres. Elsewhere, you can get standalone ambulance cover or health insurance that includes it for complete cover.
- Northern Territory. For complete cover, you will need to get an ambulance subscription through St John Ambulance NT.