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How much does an ambulance cost in Australia?

OSHCstudents – In an emergency, you might need an ambulance. As the cost of ambulance varies across the states of Australia, knowing the cost of each state can help you be prepared beforehand.

There’s no way to predict when you or a loved one might need to call an ambulance.

When that time comes, the last thing you need is the stress of a hefty bill that could leave you thousands of dollars out of pocket. 

Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of ambulance or emergency transport, which can leave people facing call out costs in some parts of Australia.

While Queensland and Tasmania provide free ambulance trips for their residents, Australians living in other states and territories have to pay unless they have ambulance cover as part of their private health insurance or pay for an annual ambulance subscription.

The majority of ambulance services across the country usually charge a flat rate with a capped per-kilometre fee when transporting patients from their pick-up destination to the respective hospital.

If you are travelling interstate and are unfortunate enough to need to call an ambulance, fees and charges vary depending on your home state.

Tasmania has reciprocal agreements with all states except South Australia and Queensland while Queensland residents are covered for ambulance services whether they are in or out of their home state.

This is what you need to know about ambulance costs in each state.

Ambulance costs in New South Wales

Residents in New South Wales pay 51 per cent of the cost of ambulance services with the State Government subsidising the rest of the bill, according to NSW Ambulance.

Residents who need road, fixed wing aircraft or helicopter emergency transport face a $407 call out fee and a travel rate of $3.67 per km. This includes the trip from the ambulance station to the pick up address, to a public hospital or another destination nomination by NSW Ambulance.

Holders of some health care cards may be eligible for free ambulance services, including:

  • Health Care Card
  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Department of Veterans Affairs Repatriation Health Card – also known as Gold Card
  • Department of Veterans Affairs Repatriation Health Card – also known as White Card

Ambulance costs in Queensland

If you live in Queensland the good news is there is no cost if you need to call an ambulance. The State Government provides a free service for residents in the state and also covers the cost of emergency transport while travelling interstate.

To claim on an interstate trip, Queenslanders can just send the invoice to the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) and they’ll cover the payment.

Ambulance costs in South Australia

South Australians in need of an ambulance will be left $1,064 out of pocket for an emergency call out – plus an extra $6.10 per kilometre travelled.

For a non-emergency call out, South Australians can expect to foot a $237 call out fee and also the $6.10 additional fee per kilometre.

Even if you only need treatment and don’t need to be transported to hospital, you can expect to only pay the $237 call out fee.

The hefty fees are based on the types of services provided to the patient which includes paramedics attending the scene and driving them to or from a hospital.

To alleviate out of pocket expenses, South Australians have the option to purchase an Ambulance Cover Membership with South Australian Ambulance service from $90 for singles or $106.40 for singles interstate ambulance cover.

A family subscription will set you back $179 or $211.50 Australia-wide for emergency and non-emergency ambulance transport.

The rate for a single pensioner that holds a SA Pension concession card starts at $54.50.

Ambulance cost in Western Australia

Western Australians will be charged with a bill for calling an emergency ambulance o $549 for a non-urgent call.

Residents who are over 65 and receive a government pension are entitled to free ambulance services in Western Australia.

But if you’re over 65 and don’t receive a government pension a 50 per cent discount will be taken off the cost of ambulance services.

Alternatively, Country Ambulance Cover is available with St John Ambulance Cover WA with prices starting from $58 for a single person and $96 for a family of two adults and any children under 18-years-old if they live south of the 26th parallel that includes all Perth Metropolitan areas.

Ambulance costs in ACT

If you’re an ACT resident, you can expect to receive a $1,000 fee for an emergency ambulance service that includes treatment and transport.

But once the vehicle travels outside the ACT, an extra $14 for every kilometre travelled will be added to the bill.

When someone calls an emergency ambulance and only receives treatment such as first aid or is administered medication an additional $693 fee will also be included.

If you hold an aged pension or health care concession card you may be entitled to free ambulance services within the ACT.

Ambulance cost in Tasmania

Tasmanians are one of the lucky states as emergency services are covered by the state government to any residents requiring transport or treatment by ambulance.

If any residents visit the mainland, emergency ambulance costs will be also be waived in New South Wales, Victoria, ACT, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

However, if residents or even pensioners visit South Australia or Queensland and require an ambulance they will be personally responsible to cover any costs.

Ambulance cost in the Northern Territory

The cost of an emergency ambulance will set residents back $815 followed by a $5.25 fee for every kilometre travelled greater than 10 km.

But residents in the Northern Territory can avoid paying hefty ambulance fees by getting coverage from a private health fund or becoming a St John Ambulance member.

A one year St John Ambulance subscription provides free emergency transport in ACT, NSW, TAS and WA for only $110 for a single person.

Anyone who holds a Centrelink Pensioner concession card, Health care card or Veterans Affairs Card may also be entitled to free ambulance transport.

Ambulance costs in Victoria

Victorians have the option to purchase an annual Ambulance Victoria Membership that provides “protection against the cost of world class emergency treatment and transport services,” according to Ambulance Victoria.

A one-year family membership can set Victorians back $98.15 and a single membership costs $49.08.

The membership has no affiliation with private health insurers, so it’s important to check your policy to confirm what you’re covered for, even if they offer ambulance cover.

You are international students or foreigners arrive to Australia, or Australian citizens traveling abroad who are looking for OSHC, OVHC, travel insurance, please contact OSHCstudents Team at email: info@oshcstudents.com and our partners for further information and assistance.

OSHCstudents (source: news.com.au)

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