If you’re lucky enough to be living in Australia, a country with a relatively inclusive medical system, then it’s likely you might believe that along with bulk-billed medical appointments, ambulances are free nationwide under Medicare.
You would, however, be wrong.
New research from Finder has found that around 30% of Australian’s wrongly believe that ambulances are free, and covered under Medicare.
According to NIB, the average claim in the 2016/2017 financial year for an emergency ambulance trip was $874, which is not at all an insignificant fee. But you’d be forgiven for being confused about all this, given there are different policies in different Australian states.
According to NIB, in NSW, those with a Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card or who have a health care card don’t have to pay for an ambulance trip. However for those without, you will be charged a call-out fee and a fee per kilometre of the round trip. At $3.35 a kilometre, it’s marginally more expensive than an Uber.
Queenslanders are arguably the luckiest state in the country, as ambulance fees are covered for every permanent resident, regardless of where in the country they are.
In Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, ACT and the Northern Territory there is a hefty call-out fee and occasionally a cost per kilometre too.