Emergency ambulance costs
Emergency ambulance costs are the costs associated with emergency transport services (via air or road) from the place where immediate medical treatment is required to the emergency department of a receiving hospital.
Ambulance services, including air services are only covered where they are conducted by the provider we recognize in the state that you’re in. Please refer to the list of our recognized providers below.
Understanding your cover
- All Bupa Hospital and most Extras covers include emergency ambulance services, usually capped at one (for singles) or two (for couples/families) trips or attendances per year.
- An “emergency” is defined as an unplanned event where a patient’s life may be at risk and they need medical treatment immediately. You can read our Fund bupa.com.au/fundrules for more details about what is classified as an emergency.
- Emergency transport must be by a Bupa Recognised Ambulance Provider in that State/Territory. These include ACT Ambulance Service, Ambulance Service of NSW, Ambulance Queensland Ambulance Service, South Australia Ambulance Service, St John Ambulance NT, St John Ambulance Service WA, Ambulance Service Tasmanian.
- The following “non-emergency” transport is not included in your Hospital or Extras cover:
- Transportation from a hospital to your home
- From a hospital to a nursing home
- From a hospital to another hospital where the customer has been admitted to the transferring (first) hospital. Most of the time this is when a hospital does not have the facilities to treat you, so the first admitting hospital generally covers this. If you’re unsure, you can check with your hospital.
- From the person’s home, a nursing home or hospital for ongoing medical treatment, (for example, chemotherapy or dialysis).
Different Australian states have different rules when it comes to ambulance cover
Residents of QLD
Residents in Queensland have ambulance cover provided by the QLD government. The state-funded ambulance service offers coverage to their residents nation-wide.
Tasmania residents are covered for ambulance transportation by the Tasmanian state government in Tasmania. Reciprocal agreements exist in all states except SA and QLD.
For NSW and ACT residents
NSW /ACT residents who either hold a concession card in New South Wales or Australian Capital Territory or who hold an eligible hospital cover with a private health insurance fund are covered for emergency ambulance services within NSW and all states except SA and QLD. Residents without private health insurance or concession entitlements are personally responsible for the cost of ambulance transportation. Bupa offers ambulance cover to avoid an unexpected ambulance bill.
Residents of South Australia need to personally ensure they are covered, either through a direct subscription with South Australia Ambulance Service or a private health fund.
Residents of NT and WA
Ambulance services for residents of Northern Territory and Western Australian rural areas are run by St John Ambulance Australia, under contract to the state/territory government. People in the Perth metropolitan area (From Two Rocks in the north to Port Kennedy in the south and Wundowie in the east) must get ambulance cover from a private health insurer to be covered. All Western Australian Aged Pensioners have access to ambulance services free of charge. All other senior citizens over 65 pay only 50% of the normal cost.
Residents in Victoria need to personally ensure they are covered either through a direct subscription with Ambulance Victoria or through a health fund.
Norfolk Island residents
St John Ambulance Norfolk Island Division provides free volunteer ambulance services to all residents on the island.
If a resident requires medical evacuation from Norfolk Island, they will be transferred to the closest appropriate mainland hospital. The Australian Government cover the cost.
A Norfolk Island resident travelling elsewhere in Australia can claim using any health fund entitlement that they hold.
Find out more
You might want to consider purchasing insurance to cover you for unlimited emergency ambulance trips. Speak to us to find out more.
You may find that your State/Territory offers a more cost-effective ambulance membership that covers you for non-emergency transport.Download the Important Information Guide