Thursday, January 6th, 2011 - HBF Australia
A new survey has highlighted that most of us are in for a nasty shock if we call an urgent ambulance in Western Australia.

The survey, commissioned by HBF and conducted by Patterson Market Research, has shown that West Australians have little or no idea of the cost they would incur if they called an ambulance in an emergency.

Many believe that the service would be completely free.

Of the 400 West Australians surveyed, 93% guessed incorrectly, or admitted they didn’t know, how much it would cost to call an ambulance in WA. 73% underestimated the cost and 1 in 3 believed the bill would be picked up by someone else. A quarter of those surveyed believed that the government or Medicare would foot the bill.

In fact the bill for calling an ambulance in an emergency in WA is $779 and unless the patient has urgent ambulance health cover that amount comes straight from their wallet*.

HBF spokesperson Andrew Walton said that the study showed that for most West Australians the trauma of a health emergency could also be a financial shock.

“Many of us can’t imagine that we’ll ever have to call an ambulance in an emergency but in fact it happens to over 100,000 West Australians every year so we’re not talking about a rare event.

“By definition if you have had to call an ambulance urgently you’re in the midst of a personal crisis. This study shows that for most of us that would be compounded by a hefty bill we didn’t see coming.”

Intriguingly, the same study has shown that almost the same percentage of West Australians who underestimate the cost of calling an ambulance, overestimated what it would cost to insure against that financial shock.

94% of those surveyed admitted they didn’t know or believed it would cost more than the actual cost of around $33 per annum** for urgent ambulance health insurance.

* aged pensioners receive free ambulance services and senior citizens 65+ receive a 50% subsidy
** Annual cost of HBF urgent ambulance: $32.75

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HBF Australia


HBF is Western Australia's largest Health Insurance provider and is a leading provider of travel insurance, car insurance and home and contents insurance in Australia.
Andrew Walton
P: 0438 925 050
M: 0438 925 050
W: www.hbf.com.au/health-insurance/index.html

Andrew Walton

Keywords

cost of ambulance, health insurance, ambulance emergency, ambulance health cover

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