What Will Private Health Insurance in Australia Cover for Visitors?

August 7, 2013

Insurance

Health Insurance in AustraliaAre you a visitor to Australia? Did you know that Australia offers health coverage and insurance options for long-term visitors? Depending on where you live, you have different insurance options while in Australia.

Countries with Reciprocal Health Care Arrangements

If you are a non-student visitor from the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Ireland, Slovenia, or Belgium, you can receive any necessary health coverage that you require in Australia covered under your current insurance coverage. You will not have to pay any additional fees because you are a non-resident. Even if you are from these countries, however, you may still benefit from purchasing temporary traveler’s health insurance.

What if I am not from the above countries?

If you are not from the above countries, your health coverage gets a little more complicated. If you have no insurance policy through Australia, you will have to pay completely out of pocket if you need to visit any medical facility.

How can I avoid paying out of pocket for health care?

If you have a temporary visa to Australia, the best coverage is the Overseas Visitors Health Cover. This plan will cover many of the fees associated with visiting a doctor or visiting the hospital while you are in the country. Some visas automatically require you have health insurance while in the country. For example, the Visa Subclass 457 requires all visa holders to have insurance for the duration of their visit to Australia.

What if I am a student?

Students in Australia must have a separate form of health insurance. As a student, you are encouraged to get the Overseas Student Health Cover. This will help you pay for any medical expenses that you may incur while you are studying in Australia.

What type of cover should I purchase?

The cover that you purchase is based on your visa. If you have a 457 or 485 visa, you should get the 457-conplaint Overseas Visitors Health Cover. If you have a visa with an 8501 condition, you can still get the 457-compliant coverage and meet the requirements for the visa. If you have any other visa, the regular Overseas Visitors Health Cover will provide the necessary health cover during your stay. You can purchase the cover from an Australian or international insurer.

What will the insurance cover?

What the insurance will cover differs from plan to plan. However, all plans must cover the basics, which include any medically-required hospital admission and a portion of the doctor’s fees. If you have a general treatment plan, you can receive discounts on private practice medical care. Make sure you understand the limitations of each policy, such as any included waiting periods and what the insurance defines as a pre-existing condition.

Your health is important, and to keep it safe, you should consider purchasing temporary insurance for your stay in Australia. Whether you are a student, tourist, migrant worker, or any other visitor, you should avoid expensive medical fees by taking a proactive interest in your health and purchasing a private health cover.

This is a guest post by Marianne Ross. She is a freelance writer who shares her health-related experiences on various blogs.

What Will Private Health Insurance in Australia Cover for Visitors?


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