How does St.LukesHealth cover ambulance services?
Ambulance cover shouldn’t be overlooked. Without it, you might find yourself on the hook for thousands of dollars after an emergency.
To get ambulance insurance you can either:
- Take out an ambulance subscription with your state or regional ambulance service.
- Look for private health insurance that includes ambulance cover.
However, not everyone needs it. In some places, and in some situations, you might already be covered for ambulance services.
St.LukesHealth is based in Tasmania, whose residents are largely covered for ambulance needs under a state scheme, and therefore does not offer any kind of ambulance cover with any of its health insurance products. However, it may pay for certain ambulance fees occurred while members are travelling interstate.
How are Tasmanian residents covered for ambulance transport?
Tasmanian residents are automatically covered for ambulance transport within the state, and may also have emergency ambulance fees covered in other ways while traveling interstate, depending on where it is. This might be with Ambulance Tasmania's reciprocal arrangements, through St.LukesHealth, or through other arrangements.
- Ambulance Tasmania. The Tasmanian Government has made reciprocal arrangements with all other states except Queensland and South Australia. Your ambulance costs are not covered here, but may be covered by the Tasmanian Government in all other states of Australia.
- St.LukesHealth. If you hold hospital cover with St.LukesHealth and require emergency ambulance in Queensland or South Australia, the health fund may cover your costs if they are not recoverable elsewhere. It only applies in the event of serious or life-threatening health issues.
Between the reciprocal arrangements and St.LukesHealth hospital cover you are covered for emergency ambulances Australia-wide, but not air ambulance or non-emergency transport.
- Other arrangements. This might be a state ambulance subscription if you travel somewhere frequently, or another private health insurance that offers ambulance cover.
Do I need ambulance cover?
In other states, you might be covered for ambulance services in different ways.
- Pensioners and concession card holders. You might be covered automatically in NSW or the ACT, VIC, WA and NT.
- DVA Gold Card and White Card holders. You are covered for certain ambulance services nationwide.
- NSW and ACT residents with private health insurance. In these states, everyone with private health insurance that includes hospital cover is automatically covered for ambulance services.
- QLD residents. You are automatically covered for ambulance services nationwide.
- TAS residents. You are automatically covered for ambulance services everywhere except SA and QLD.
Where you are covered with private health insurance, an ambulance subscription or through a state scheme, it’s important to note that you are generally only covered for emergency and medically necessary ambulance services.
How do I know whether an ambulance is medically necessary?
Medically necessary ambulance services are recommended by doctors, such as for the purposes of transporting a patient between hospitals.
Emergency ambulance services are those dispatched to attend a time-critical health issue, either on the scene or by transporting a patient to hospital. They qualify as an emergency if the attending paramedics code it as such in their paperwork.
Generally, it’s more likely to qualify as medically necessary, or an emergency, if:
- There was no equally safe and suitable form of transport available.
- It was a time-sensitive issue, or a matter of life and death.
St.LukesHealth does not offer any form of ambulance cover, so if necessary you may want to consider:
- A state ambulance subscription. Some health funds will reimburse you the costs of these subscriptions with their extras cover.
- Ambulance only cover. This is like a health insurance policy that only covers ambulances. You can find these from many major health funds.
- Health insurance with ambulance cover. Many health funds will offer ambulance cover with their hospital and/or extras cover. The limits and conditions can vary widely between policies, however.