You might not realise it, but if you don't have private health insurance when you need to call an emergency ambulance, you'll probably have to pay a hefty fee.
In Australia, Medicare doesn't cover the fees associated with an ambulance ride – and in the 2015/16 financial year, the average emergency ambulance claim amount for nib customers was $833 – not exactly loose change!
The amount you'll be billed for an ambulance differs from state to state and there are a few exemptions and exceptions, so if you want to know exactly what you'll have to fork out, it's always best to head to your state government website.
However, to get you started, we've created an easy guide that will help you understand how much an ambulance could cost you in each Aussie state and territory.
If you're a Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card holder (or you fall into any of these categories), you won't have to pay for your NSW ambulance trip, whether it's by road, fixed wing aircraft or helicopter (or a combination). For those in NSW who aren't exempt, you'll be charged with a call-out fee, as well as a fee charged per kilometre of the round trip of travel (from ambulance station to pick-up address, destination and ambulance station return).
If you're a NSW resident, your call-out fee can be up to $364, plus $3.29 per kilometre, regardless of whether you require transport by road or air.
For non-NSW residents, that call-out fee rises to up to $714 with a $6.44 charge per kilometre if you do not live in a state or territory without a Reciprocal Rights Agreement (currently QLD and SA are not party to such an agreement).
Good news, Queenslanders; your state automatically covers you for emergency pre-hospital ambulance treatment Australia-wide. This means, wherever you are in the country, you won't have to pay for an ambulance, so long as you can prove you're a permanent Queensland resident.
If you need an ambulance in Victoria, you can expect to pay up to $1,174 for emergency road transport and much more for air transport.
For South Australians needing an emergency ambulance, there's a call out fee of $934, plus a per kilometre charge of $5.40.
Unless you're a West Australian aged pensioner (if you are, you're exempt from ambulance costs) your ambulance can start from $932.
Australian Capital Territory
For those needing an ambulance in our Capital Territory, you can expect to pay from $918.
The cost of an ambulance in the Northern Territory is based off a call-out fee, as well as a per kilometre charge. The cost to a patient is generally around $600-$800.
Tasmanian residents can rest assured that the Tasmanian Government will cover any emergency ambulance costs for them, wherever they are around Australia (so long as you can prove your Tasmanian residency). However, if you're a visitor to Tasmania and you don't have a Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card, you'll be required to fork out the bill.
Regardless of where you're from, the last thing you want to worry about in an emergency situation is the cost of your ambulance. At nib, we offer a range of policies that cover emergency ambulance. Make sure you have the peace of mind that comes with nib private health insurance by viewing your current nib policy online or calling 13 16 42.