Overseas Visitors Health Cover
Overseas Visitors Health Cover is for visitors to Australia who
need medical cover, in particular, those who need health
insurance to fulfil their visa requirements (e.g. the 457
long-stay working visa or a student visa).
Every Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) policy will differ in price,
eligibility and benefits. However,
most policies should cover you for medically-required hospital
admissions and a portion of doctor's fees.
In addition to cover for hospital and medical
expenses, you can also purchase General Treatment cover. General
Treatment cover pays benefits towards the services of health care
providers in private practice such as dentists, optometrists and
physiotherapists. Insurance covers a percentage of these costs,
though you will still be required to cover some of the costs
Without Overseas Visitors Health Cover or another level of
medical cover like travel insurance, you'll need to pay your own
medical costs in Australia. Even in a public hospital, these costs
could exceed $1000 per day.
Tips for choosing Overseas Visitors Health Cover
When selecting overseas visitors health cover, keep a few things
in mind to make sure you get the health insurance policy you
- make sure it complies: with the requirements
of your visa;
- as with any insurance product, read the policy document so you
know what you're covered for and consider the restrictions and
exclusions that apply;
- keep waiting periods in mind: as some features
of your policy may require you to wait before you can claim on
them. Pre-existing conditions in particular have a 12 month waiting
period, but some health funds won't cover them at all under
Overseas Visitors Health Cover. If you have an existing condition
that you're concerned about, consider taking out travel insurance
instead of, or in addition to, your overseas visitors health
- keep your policy current: If you fall behind
in any premium payments, your health fund may cancel your
membership or refuse your claims, which could affect your visa
The Australian Government has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements
(RHCA) with the governments of the United Kingdom, Sweden, the
Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Slovenia, Malta and Italy
which entitles you to limited subsidised health services for
medically necessary treatment while visiting Australia.
These articles are provided as reference material to allow more informed decision making, but are not intended as being a complete source of information on any topic. All readers should make their own independent analysis on the topic to make sure they have considered the aspects that are important to them.
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