Here’s how much ambulance costs in Australia

If you’ve ever needed to use emergency transport services, the fee might be enough to set off your own alarm bells. Unless you live in Queensland or Tasmania, expect to fork out big dollars for your hospital ride.

Residents of Victoria, Western and South Australia, and ACT can expect to ring themselves up for a bill close to a thousand dollars before you even enter the hospital. Now imagine if you used the emergency ambulance transport say, 3 times a year- that’s a pretty pricey ride.

how much ambulances actually cost

Medicare doesn’t pay for ambulance services

You might be surprised to learn that Medicare doesn’t provide emergency ambulance services, so if you aren’t insured, prepare to be billed. A few states like Victoria allow you to purchase an annual ambulance subscription for their services.

Many health funds such as MyOwn offer ambulance coverage as a standard benefit on their hospital or extras policies, and some, like ahm Health Insurance offer standalone policies.

For those that aren’t as fortunate as Queenslanders and Tasmanians or those with private health cover, be aware that different states have varying methods of charging for these services, and some factor in location and whether or not the call-out is deemed an emergency. Let’s take a look at some of the associated costs:

Ambulance costs in Australia

  • Queensland and Tasmania: Provided by state
  • New South Wales: $382 per emergency, plus $3.44 per kilometre
  • Victoria: $1,776 for rural call outs and $1,204 for non-rural
  • South Australia: $976 per emergency plus $5.60 per kilometre
  • Western Australia: $976 per callout
  • Australian Capital Territory: $959 per emergency plus $13.00 per kilometre travelled outside of the territory
  • Northern Territory: $790 per emergency plus $5.10 per kilometre

It is important to note that if someone else calls the ambulance on your behalf, and even if you refuse to be medically attended to, either yourself or that person will still receive a bill.

Other exemptions

There are those that qualify for free emergency ambulance services. You won’t have to pay for an ambulance if you fall under any of these categories:

  • Department of Veterans Affairs Health Card holders qualify across all states and territories across Australia
  • Residents of the Australian Capital Territory who hold Concession, Pensioner, and Health Care cards.
  • Residents of New South Wales who hold Health Care, Pensioner Concession and Commonwealth Seniors Health Care cards.
  • Residents of Victoria who hold Victorian Pensioner Concession or Health Care cards.
  • Residents of Western Australia over 65 and those entitled to the Australian Government Pension.
  • Northern Territory residents who hold Centrelink Pensioner Concession or Health Care cards.

Ambulances are a necessity, especially in an emergency. When in doubt, it’s best to ring one up regardless of the cost. Now, what if you could have cover for ambulance services as well as for the days that you require hospitalisation?

The vast majority of private health insurance policies will cover you for emergency ambulance, meaning if you’re ever unlucky enough to need an emergency ambulance, paying a large ambulance bill will at least be one less thing to worry about. 

 

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