Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) is health insurance for foreign visitors visiting or working in Australia on a short-term visa. If you get sick or even have an accident while you’re in Australia, the health insurance for overseas visitors will help you pay for your medical expenses. OVHC can be obtained if you’re planning to visit Australia temporarily, or if your parent, family member, or friends are coming to visit you in Australia. Having overseas health insurance enables you to enjoy your time in Australia to the fullest, without worrying about expensive healthcare during your or your loved ones’ stay in Australia, should it be required.
Maintaining adequate overseas visitors health insurance in Australia is a mandatory condition on many temporary visas. The Australian Department of Home Affairs recommends foreign visitors have a valid subclass 600 visa health insurance plan to cover the cost of any unanticipated hospitalisation or medical treatment expenditure if any during their temporary stay.
Benefits of overseas visitor’s health cover
Illnesses or accidents can happen at any time, and healthcare costs in Australia can be a huge burden. Making sure you have an adequate health insurance plan can help pay for medical costs and safeguard your health while you’re in Australia.
The services covered will exclusively depend on which plan you buy.
The following services are commonly included:
- Specialist and doctor fees
- Hospital treatment, including room and theatre fees
- Emergency ambulance
- Day surgery and procedures
Visitor Visa 600 Health Insurance Requirement – Ooverseas health cover for visa 600
Overseas visitors health insurance under Condition 8501 is a requirement if your visitor visa has the condition “8501”. As most overseas visitors or workers are not eligible for Australian Medicare facilities (publicly funded healthcare typically only accessible if you have permanent residency or citizenship), maintaining proper health insurance is a prerequisite for a range of working and visitor visas. Overseas visitors with visa condition 8501 must purchase and provide proof of adequate OVHC when applying for their visa.
Why do you need travel health insurance?
Overseas visitor visa health insurance for visa 600 is often required for people traveling to Australia for leisure, work, or other purposes on a temporary basis.
Overseas visitors of subclass 600 holders are encouraged to use OVHC to help pay for medical treatment in Australia as it can be costly and you may not be eligible for Medicare.
When should my OVHC insurance policy start and end?
For relevant visa types subject to visa condition 8501, the Australian Department of Home Affairs requires that you and your accompanying family members have adequate health insurance coverage for the entire length of your and your family’s stay in Australia.
Your insurance cover will commence as per the date shown on your Certificate of Insurance.
Your insurance coverage ends on the date of your departure from Australia, the date you cease to hold an eligible visa, the date your insurance provider or you cancel your policy plan, or the end date mentioned on your Certificate of Insurance (whichever happens first).
How do I make an OVHC claim?
This will depend on which company you use and the policy you select, but would typically include:
- Filling out the claim form.
- Submitting it along with supporting documents and receipts.
Does OVHC cover additional such as dental, optical, and physiotherapy?
Some of the insurance providers include extra coverage for dental and optical expenses. You should consult with your insurance provider for details.
Where can I purchase OVHC?
You can select a health coverage plan in Australia from a range of health insurers and some general insurers based in Australia. You can choose to be covered by insurance policies issued in different countries. Note: if you’re on a visa with specific health insurance conditions, you need to get the type and level of health insurance stated in your visa conditions (log into VEVO to check these if you are unsure).
You should also consider purchasing travel insurance, mainly if you’re in Australia for a very short stay. Travel insurance is designed to cover you for things that are not covered by health cover such as loss of important goods and repatriation in a medical situation. Travel insurance should be acquired before you depart for Australia.
How much does it cost?
The expense of your OVHC will depend on a number of factors including the type of visa, the length and duration of cover, and the number of people included in your cover. On average, you might be paying $70 per month for working visas and $78 per month for visitor visas.
What may not be covered?
You must clearly understand the terms and conditions at the time of purchasing your health cover as some plans will have lower benefits or no benefits for certain types of medical treatment, and waiting time can vary – some plans may not include cover for your pre-existing diseases, meaning that such illnesses can never be covered.
Most foreign visitors’ health cover plans have limited coverage for medicines. Visitors may face significant out-of-pocket costs when they need special treatment with pharmaceuticals, particularly cancer treatment.
Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) is designed to make your overseas travel stress-free. Health insurance providers cover both emergency and routine healthcare giving you the financial security you need wherever life takes you. Additionally, it also helps you to gain flexibility in your choice of doctor or treatment facilities and the ability to receive treatment anywhere within your region of the cover.
The visitors who arrive in Australia do not have access to Medicare, may need to pay large out-of-pocket expenses if they need emergency medical treatment. Hospital treatment can cost more than AU$1,000 per day. Depending on the type of health coverage you choose, your OVHC will keep you covered for some of the costs of medical treatment if you get sick or have a sudden accident.