5th Apr 2017

What concessions are available on ambulance cover?

Debbie McTaggart

Now that Sheila is in receipt of an Age Pension, she would like to know if she is entitled to free ambulance cover. Debbie explains how the concessions on cover are applied.

Q. Sheila

Now that I’m receiving a part Age Pension, do I automatically receive free ambulance cover?

A. As with many concessions, what is offered between states and territories varies; however, in most cases, holders of Pensioner Concession Cards will receive free or reduced-rates ambulance cover. There may be restrictions on the type of ambulance transport provided.

Holders of certain other concession cards may also receive free ambulance cover, but again, this will vary depending on the card held and the state or territory providing the concession.

To check whether or not you’re covered, you can visit the ambulance authority for each state and territory by clicking on the links below.

New South Wales

South Australia


Northern Territory


Australian Capital Territory

Western Australia

Related articles:
How do I know which concession card I’m eligible for?


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17th Apr 2017
In South Australia if you need to be transported to a reahab facility then you need to pay an extra 20 dollars.SA does have concessions
17th Apr 2017
I just looked at all the States in the list and it seems if you are on a pension card South Aust. is the 0NLY state in the country where you cannot get free transport .So much for the socialist way of doing things
17th Apr 2017
The Government will soon make it "only for your last ride" at this rate :)
17th Apr 2017
I didn't realise how expensive it was to be picked up by an ambulance until my son had a seizure at work, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital, $370.00 for a 2 km trip, they charge by the kms.
17th Apr 2017
That's why you need to ensure ambulance cover is included in private health insurance.
17th Apr 2017
That would only apply to non pensioners wouldn't it KSS?.
17th Apr 2017
Not according to the list above Misty. SA for example.

And what about those retirees who don't get a health card? They can afford nearly $400 a trip?
17th Apr 2017
Not if they live in SA or other states without a pension or health card, I guess a one off wouldn't matter but if you have a chronic illness or frequent falls it would soon mount up.
Polly Esther
18th Apr 2017
Misty, may I please say that at $370.00 for 2km is a cheap trip.
I had to be transported to hospital approx. 4 years ago and was sent a bill for $700 and something dollars for a 1.5 km trip.
I returned the bill with my pension number, as you can do, and of course I did not have to pay. So it definitely does pay to contact the ambulance service with your particulars and check your entitlements.
17th Apr 2017
Ambulance cover is a mess. For instance, beware if you are travelling interstate. Athough you may be covered in your own state, you may not be covered for that road trip! Given the mobility of today's retirees, it is way past time all this was sorted out.
17th Apr 2017
What is wrong with these State Govts. In Qld. if U are a resident U get free anbulance, whether a pensioner or otherwise. On the Gold Coast, resident pensioners get free bus travel, from 8.30am to 3.30pm. Isn't a pity we couldn't just have one Australia, instead of these different countries & laws, within. GET RID OF STATE GOVERNMENTS WOULD BE A HELP.
17th Apr 2017
Maybe a co-incidence (TIC) but I think you will find that Qld. receives more GST rebates from Canberra than any other State.
17th Apr 2017
S.A. is 40 years behind the rest of the country. Don't worry about them. You have to have your head up your bum, to live there
30th Apr 2017
In SA if you are receiving a Totally or Partially Impaired (TPI) Pension via the Veterans Affairs Dept. and have a Gold Card you get FREE Ambulance cover unless it has been changed sine 2000.
Not sure whether those on Service Pensions have Gold Cards or not. I am referring to returned service personell.
17th Apr 2017
Your fact sheet did not show that in NSW at least should you require to be transferred from one hospital to another for further or more effective treatment, or transferred from a major hospital to another smaller hospital for the convenience of the hospital service, than this cost is generally borne by the hospital services. However if you should be transported from one hospital to another at your request that the patient is then liable for the cost of transport.
17th Apr 2017
Yes they should.
17th Apr 2017
A good argument for getting rid of the states.
17th Apr 2017
The Federal Government most definitely. Every State to secede from the Federation and act independently, their own law, taxes, civil codes, pension schemes. immigration laws and border controls.
17th Apr 2017
Imagine the border disputes! Recipe for disaster - border fences a la Trump, etc. You're joking, of course?
And then you have states with boundaries that mean little, geographically - eg Far North Qld has a different set of issues from the southern and western parts. And imagine the fiasco of daylight saving, different transport systems, possibly different currencies, wars...no thanks.
17th Apr 2017
Totally agree Alula, the mind boggles at the very thought of independent states, enough trouble with the differences as it is.
18th Apr 2017
There is going to be war and ambulances will be in short supply. Be prepared best you can.
17th Apr 2017
Had an almighty shock when I found out that if you need an Ambulance and Medical aid in the ACT the cost is $918 plus $12 for every km outside the ACT, if you only need Ambo transport it is $637. We really fancied a trip around Australia but sadly I don't think it will happen.
17th Apr 2017
Sevi as I said above my son was charged $370.58 in NSW for a distance of 2km so I think the $12.00 must be wrong, what are the charges in the ACT for and how far did they have to travel?, was it to a hospital?.
17th Apr 2017
I believe most basic hospital private insurance covers ambulance nationally.
18th Apr 2017
Buy Ambulance cover annually for a fraction of the amounts quoted by others here, and you are home and hosed. To coin a phrase!
18th Apr 2017
What state are you in Yvonne? and do you get it through a health fund or the Ambulance direct?.
18th Apr 2017
Buy ambulance cover in your own state, fine, but what about if you want to travel interstate? You won't be covered there, as far as I can tell.
26th Apr 2017
HI Muttonbird - ALL pensioners are covered for ambulance in any state when used to go to hospital, but as previously advised, unless requested by a medical practitioner, you pay for transfer from one hospital to another. Even though we are on a pension with a pension card, we pay the annual fee, it means we are making a donation to the particular ambulance service, these services sometimes rely on donations o upgrade services not supplied by the various state Governments. I have served 10 years on an ambulance auxiliary to help these hard working men and women.
20th Apr 2017
Had reason to be taken to hospital by ambulance about a year ago....live in Queensland...completely free as far as I can tell...Never received any sort of bill for the ride to hospital so free as far as I can determine to this point.
30th Oct 2017
Given that we all pay a huge Emergency Services Levy in SA why isn't ambulance use covered? Surely the ESL pays for the Ambulance Service in SA.
30th Oct 2017
In SA on my private health, I get one free trip (about $900) every year, otherwise if I am likely to use more than 1 trip in 12 months, I have to take out ambulance cover direct.

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