Ambulance cover - Queensland

Submitted: Saturday, Nov 27, 2004 at 08:41
ThreadID: 121621 Views:4237 Replies:5 FollowUps:0
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Not all Queenslanders are treated equally. Did you know that if you travel in the BT and rent your home, you lose ambulance cover.

I have been advised by the Department of Emergency Services (Queensland) that once we rent our Queensland home so we can travel in our caravan for a year or so, we are no longer Queensland “residents” under the Act and therefore do not have the benefit of the new ambulance scheme, which covers Australia wide. (Apparently even though will be returning to the van parks in the home area to visit grandchildren every few months we have no cover, nor would we qualify for cover if we were traveling exclusively in Queensland for the year. We would have cover if we lived permanently in a caravan park though) .

This crazy situation is because we are deemed not to have a permanent place of residence in Queensland, even though we own our house here. (The comment from the Department was that many Japanese own houses in Queensland but they are not Queensland residents and so do not have ambulance cover. I could not really follow this argument as I am Australian born and have a Queensland registered car, caravan and the only house I own is in Queensland. Surely that is different to being a resident of another country !)
If I am not a considered a Queensland resident, what is my residency? (vagrant?)

We cannot buy cover in the Ambulance fund that existed before the new collection scheme came into force because it has been abolished.
There is no provision to pay the ambulance service the same sum as we did previously through the house electricity account, (the method by which the new ambulance scheme collects its funds).
However our daughter lives in a Queensland solar powered property and is covered for ambulance, although not paying anything towards the cost of the ambulance service. (no electricity account). So if daughter travels interstate and needs an ambulance she has reciprocal cover, we do not, (she would lose cover if she rented the house, even though there would be no revenue change to the ambulance service).

The person at the Department said use of an ambulance interstate would cost a minimum of $800. That does not make me feel really happy, what happens if an ambulance is needed when in a really remote area, the cost could be exorbitant. (If it were because of a car accident, then there should be cover under the CTP insurance)
When I asked how we could get cover the only suggestion from the Department officer was to buy “travel” insurance, like overseas travelers do.
I need to investigate travel insurance in this context, but from memory it was always difficult to buy travel insurance for 12 months (Insurers felt you were not “traveling” if you were absent from your home for a year, but that was with overseas travel. I do not recall investigating Aust only travel for an individual). With travel insurance ambulance cover is not a specific extension. If it were covered anywhere it would have to be under the “medical expenses” part of the cover, and that became almost impossible to buy when Medicare came in, (because you cannot insure the Medicare gap). “Medical expenses for Australian residents was a no-no, but I’m a few years out of touch now.
Additionally with travel insurance it includes death and other benefits, so the cost will include cover for things we do not want.

Perhaps an answer is to join an interstate fund to provide Aust wide coverage, using an interstate relatives address. At least a “premium” will have been paid to an ambulance fund, and I think they all have reciprocity. We would again have cover whilst in Queensland.
The situation seems ludicrous. I wonder if the politicians realize what a problem they have created?
Has anyone else out there who is traveling and rented a house investigated this matter and found a solution?
Ian and Robin

as a PS: If we are not a considered to be Queensland residents under this Act, I'm a bit scared to think what the situation re drivers licences and vehicle registrations are under other Queensland Acts.
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Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Saturday, Nov 27, 2004 at 17:08

Saturday, Nov 27, 2004 at 17:08
G'day Ian & Robin,

That's an enlightening story. I'll now check out the situation in NSW. Our van is still registered in Queensland at Liz's sister's place. Come election time we were sent a letter from the Qld Govt asking to confirm we were on the Qld electoral roll as they assumed we were Qld residents. So, if your vehicles are registered in Queensland and you are on the Qld. electoral roll, does your vote count if you are renting your home and travelling in the van? I bet it does. How many Japanese home owners vote?
Crikey, life gets complicated even when you do have a van to "Get away from it all"

You said..."with travel insurance, it also includes death and other benefits" ....I'm not sure if I can see much benefit in death other than through euthanasia , and I ain't ready for that yet!!!

All the best....................Rob & Liz
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Sunday, Nov 28, 2004 at 06:40

Sunday, Nov 28, 2004 at 06:40
I thought that while your home was rented, that you were now residing with your daughter, and that was your new permanent residence. You are only taking a holiday in the BT from your current residence so therefore you should be covered, and because there is no power connected to your daughters home, you still don't pay anything. {Did you try that one on them?}
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Reply By: ADMIN - Tuesday, Nov 30, 2004 at 02:14

Tuesday, Nov 30, 2004 at 02:14
Hi All I inquired with the amblance when this scheme came out and they told me that if I had a Queensland licence then you were covered under the new scheme and yes I did tell them that I was going to rent our house out and all mail was going to a PO box. The only other option is to get amblance cover from NIB in NSW as they are the only health fund that dose it.

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Reply By: Meg and J - Wednesday, Dec 01, 2004 at 23:10

Wednesday, Dec 01, 2004 at 23:10
Hi all
When we started out in our BT 18 months ago, I enquired from our local member (ALP) and have it in writing that we are covered as we still own our home (but it is rented out) and we are still on the electoral roll. Perhaps you should contact your local member and ask them to sort it out. Seems people are getting different answers.
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Reply By: Taj Mah Tracker - Thursday, Dec 02, 2004 at 08:09

Thursday, Dec 02, 2004 at 08:09
Meg and J
My worry is that at the time your local mamber was probably correct, but the method of collecting the ambulance levy and the Act were changed last year, less than 18 months ago. So I'm not sure if the assurance you received is still valid, but I will be writing to the local member and will report the result.
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