How does health.com.au cover ambulance use, and who might need additional cover?
Every single health insurance policy sold by health.com.au includes emergency ambulance cover.
However, this generally only covers ambulance transport for emergency situations. Even with emergency ambulance cover, you may still end up with significant out-of-pocket expenses when you call an ambulance just to be on the safe side or for other non-emergency transport.
What counts as an emergency?
Generally, it’s only an emergency when the ambulance puts on its sirens. This includes when the ambulance is carrying patients needing urgent medical attention or when paramedics are rushing to provide urgent on-the-scene medical care.
Examples of non-emergency situations include transport for a broken leg or being transferred between hospitals.
With a health plan from health.com.au, you are only covered for emergency situations.
How to get complete ambulance cover for non-emergencies
Depending on your state and situation, you might already have full ambulance cover.
Who already has automatic full ambulance cover?
- Queensland and Tasmania. If you’re a permanent resident of these states, you are covered under a state scheme and don’t need any additional ambulance cover.
- Western Australia. Aged pensioners receive free emergency and medically necessary ambulance services. Veterans are automatically covered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Seniors over 65 receive a 50% subsidy on service costs.
- NSW and ACT. All hospital health insurance includes a contribution to ambulance services, which may entitle you to full cover. Pensioners get free ambulance services for medically necessary transport without having hospital cover.
- VIC. Pensioners and concession cardholders are covered for free.
For others, there are different ways to make sure you’re fully covered.
- NSW. You can get a hospital health insurance plan or take out a subscription with the state ambulance service.
- VIC. You can get a state ambulance subscription, standalone ambulance cover or health insurance that includes extensive ambulance cover.
- NT. For complete cover, you will need to get an ambulance subscription through St John Ambulance NT.
- SA. For complete cover, you might look into purchasing a South Australian Ambulance Service membership.
- WA. You can get standalone ambulance cover or health insurance that includes it to get complete cover. 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 it through the applicable state ambulance service.
Does health.com.au offer non-emergency ambulance cover?
All plans from health.com.au, whether hospital, extras or combined, cover you for emergencies. With hospital or combined cover, you’re also covered for non-emergencies in NSW and the ACT.
In other areas, there is no cover for non-emergency ambulance services available from health.com.au. To cover the costs, you might want to look into a state ambulance subscription, standalone ambulance cover or more expansive cover from a different fund. You can also look at an extras policy that can reimburse you the cost of ambulance subscriptions.