What health insurance do I need for my Australian visa?

Whether you are here to study or work, it is a requirement that you have adequate health insurance. Every visa has their own requirements, but generally adequate health insurance entails cover for hospital, ambulance, and medical.  Whilst it is not compulsory for visitor visa holders to have an insurance cover, having insurance would bring a peace of mind.

Student Visa

International students must apply for and be granted a subclass 500 visa to study in Australia. As part of the visa requirement, the student visa holder must maintain adequate health insurance while studying in Australia. Students have to purchase the Overseas Student Heath Cover (OSHC).

There are different insurance providers for the OSHC, but most insurances cover basic hospital costs, medical expenses, and emergency ambulance services.

OSHC does not usually cover dental, optometry or physiotherapy. However, it may differ for each insurance provider. It is best to talk to the insurance provider to see the detailed list of what the OSHC covers.

Work Visa

There are a variety of work visas you may apply for depending on your goals and visa eligibility. Some work visa types include subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa, subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa. Overseas Workers Health Cover is compulsory for most temporary work visas.

Usually the Overseas Workers Health Cover should cover you for medically required hospital admissions and part of the doctor’s fees. However, you should check with the health insurance provider to ensure that it is compliant with condition 8501.

To be compliant with condition 8501, generally the health cover must be equivalent to:

  • public hospital treatment in an Australian State/Territory
  • surgically implanted prostheses
  • pharmacy – Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listed drugs
  • medical services, and
  • ambulance services, including inter-hospital transfers.

Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa, Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa, Subclass 402 Temporary Work and Subclass 407 Training Visa will have the condition 8501 imposed.  Condition 8510 may be imposed on Subclass 408 Temporary Activity Visa.

Similar to the OSHC, most overseas workers health insurances do not include dental, optometry or physiotherapy. However, there are usually options for you to upgrade your health insurance. You can talk to your insurance provider to include extra cover.

Visitor Visa

Do you hold a subclass 600 or subclass 651 or subclass 601 visa? Usually, visitor visa holders are not required to have insurance when they are in Australia. However, medical costs in Australia can be costly, therefore it may be beneficial to have adequate health insurance. This is particularly true for visitors who are staying in Australia for 12 months.

What is covered in the overseas visitor visa will depend on the health insurance provider. However, in most instances it would only cover basic medical expenses.

Health insurance cover for other visas

Visa Type Health insurance When do you need to have your health insurance?
Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay) Not mandatory N/A
Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity Work Insurance – condition 8501 compliant May be asked to provide insurance arrangement by the Department after applying.
Subclass 407 – Training Work Insurance – condition 8501 compliant At the time the Department decides on your visa application.
Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) Work Insurance – condition 8501 compliant At the time the Department decides on your visa application.
Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Not mandatory N/A
Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Not mandatory N/A
Subclass 476 Skilled – Recognised Graduate Not mandatory N/A
Subclass 188 – Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Not mandatory N/A
Subclass 870 – Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Insurance that is compliant with condition 8501 At the time the Department decides on your visa application.
Subclass 590 – Student Guardian Overseas Visitors Health Cover for Student Guardian Visa holder At the time the Department decides on your visa application.
Subclass 417- Working Holiday Not mandatory however, condition 8501 may be imposed in some cases. May be asked to provide insurance arrangement by the Department after applying.
Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday Not mandatory however, condition 8501 may be imposed in some cases. May be asked to provide insurance arrangement by the Department after applying.

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