Working visa applicants

If you are a visitor to Australia, it may be a requirement of your visa that you need to hold a form of Overseas Visitors Health Cover. This includes applicants for the visa subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage), visa subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa, and other visas that include condition 8501: Health Cover.

What is adequate health insurance?

If you are applying for a visa and it is a condition for you to hold health cover, you will need to maintain insurance for the duration of your stay in Australia. If your family is joining you on this visa, they must also be insured.

For details of the Department of Home Affairs - Adequate health insurance for visa holders.

Australian health insurers offer a range of Overseas Visitors Health Cover policies - make sure you consider only those that are comprehensive enough to comply with your visa requirements.  Some international insurers also offer health policies that meet visa requirements.

If your visa status or Medicare eligibility changes at any time, inform your insurer as soon as possible to find out whether your level of cover is still suitable.

Exemptions from the health cover requirement

You may be able to apply to Home Affairs for an exemption from the health insurance visa requirements if you are covered by a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement and you have enrolled in Medicare, the Australian public health care system. For more information about the exemption, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs and your visa processing officer.

Eligibility for these reciprocal arrangements is assessed case by case and you cannot enrol in Medicare until you have arrived in Australia. This means that if you are applying for your visa from outside Australia, you will still need to arrange complying insurance to meet your visa requirements. If you then successfully enrol in Medicare after your arrival in Australia, you can obtain an exemption from Home Affairs.

Visa subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) and OSHC

If you hold a valid Student visa at the time you apply for the Subclass 485 visa, you will already be covered under an Overseas Student Health Cover policy as a condition of your Student visa requirement. Your existing OSHC is considered acceptable health insurance at the time you lodge your 485 visa application and you should submit evidence of this with your visa application. 

You will still need to take out a 485-compliant health insurance cover at some stage during the visa processing period in order for your 485 visa application to be finalised. The Department of Home Affairs will contact you to request evidence that you have taken out a policy that complies with 485 requirements prior to issuing your 485 visa.

If your Student visa expires during the 485 visa processing period and you are issued with a bridging visa, for example, your OSHC policy will also expire. Prior to the expiry of your Student visa and OSHC policy, you must take out a new health insurance policy that complies with the minimum level of health insurance for 485 visa holders. Once your 485 visa application is granted you must maintain a complying level of health insurance for the full term of your stay in Australia authorised by this visa.

Visa subclass 457 (Temporary Work - Skilled)

Visa subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) replaces visa subclass 457 (Temporary Work - Skilled), which was abolished in March 2018.

457 Visas granted prior to 14 September 2009

If you were granted a 457 visa prior to 14 September 2009, your sponsor retains ultimate responsibility for the cost of treatment in a public hospital. If you change sponsors after 14 September 2009, the liability for certain health costs transfers to your new sponsor.

Sources

The above information is taken from the following sources:

  1. The Federal Government Private Health Advice Website: https://www.privatehealth.gov.au/
  2. The Department of Home Affairs Website in Relation to Overseas Visitors, Students and People with Appropriate working Visas https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/

For detailed information please visit the websites listed above.