GMHBA can reimburse your ambulance subscriptions and cover transport costs
Ambulance cover is an important part of health insurance that you shouldn’t overlook. If you need to call an ambulance, there’s a good chance you can end up with significant out-of-pocket expenses if you don’t take steps to find cover.
With GMHBA you may be able to receive cover for ambulance expenses under hospital or extras cover.
- Emergency ambulance cover. GMHBA hospital cover includes emergency ambulance transport in most states.
- Other ambulance cover. With a Silver or Gold level extras policy, you can get reimbursed some or all of the annual expense of a state ambulance subscription. This will generally also cover non-emergency ambulance transport.
Most hospital health insurance will include cover for ambulance transport, but generally this will only cover emergency transport and there may be differences depending on your location.
Emergency vs non-emergency ambulance transport
An emergency is a life-threatening situation, like being rushed to hospital following a heart attack or stroke. Emergencies are always time-critical, so if you call an ambulance for something like a broken leg, that might not qualify. Paramedic attendance on the scene may count as an emergency if it’s a life and death situation.
Generally, if an ambulance puts the sirens on, it’s an emergency. If it doesn’t, then there’s a good chance the transport isn’t covered by hospital or extras health insurance.
Other non-emergency situations can include patient transfer between hospitals and more. How you’re covered for emergency and non-emergency ambulance needs, and whether you should make sure you have ambulance cover with health insurance, depends on your state.
Who needs ambulance cover?
If you are an eligible pensioner, you might be automatically covered for the cost of medically necessary ambulance rides in VIC, NSW, the ACT, TAS and QLD.
Also, NSW and the ACT use a levy system, whereby people who take out hospital cover with a private health insurance plan may be eligible for full ambulance cover.
The following also applies depending on where you live:
- In Queensland and the ACT, you are covered for the cost of ambulances under a state scheme and don’t need to worry about ambulance cover.
- In Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, the ACT and Metro Western Australia, you can take out an ambulance subscription with your state for full cover and get reimbursed the costs with GMHBA extras cover.
- In Country WA and the Northern Territory, you can take out a St John’s ambulance subscription and similarly get reimbursed for the cost by the right GMHBA extras plan.
How should I get ambulance cover
You can often find standalone ambulance cover with a number of different health funds, or you can pay for your state ambulance membership out of your own pocket. Standalone ambulance health insurance policies may impose their own limits or might have other specific restrictions, while state ambulance subscriptions generally offer more complete cover.
As such, GMHBA Silver and Gold extras policies, which can reimburse you for these state ambulance subscriptions, may be an effective way of finding ambulance cover.