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Are you a family member of a New Zealand citizen living or working in Australia? If you intend to visit your relatives in Australia, you’ll need to take out private health insurance as part of your 461 visa conditions.
You can compare health insurance policies which are suitable for overseas visitors from a range of some of Australia’s leading insurers right here through Savvy. Get free instant quotes for Overseas Visitors Health Cover to consider and get your health insurance requirements sorted through us today.
What is Overseas Visitors Health Cover for a 461 visa?
Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) is a form of private health insurance offered in Australia to visa applicants who aren’t eligible for treatment under the public Medicare health system. This includes those applying for a subclass 461 visa, known as a New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visa.
The Australian Government stipulates under visa condition 8501 that all foreign visitors must have adequate health insurance cover while they're in Australia. Many providers offer OVHC designed to satisfy this requirement, which is a vital condition of a 461 visa.
This type of insurance is available on a month-by-month basis in a range of levels, from basic cover offering the cheapest plans, up to top-level policies which may be more expensive but offer greater protection against the costs of health treatment. Many of these policies include coverage for ambulance transport, which can cost thousands of dollars if you don’t have insurance which covers this area.
How do I compare health insurance policies suitable for a 461 visa?
OVHC at the most basic level is required to offer cover for all treatments delivered in a hospital setting that are covered by the Medicare Benefit Schedule.
The cheapest OVHC policies may only offer this basic private hospital cover, whereas more expensive policies combine hospital cover with some elements of extras cover. This is a separate form of health insurance which covers healthcare treatment delivered in the community, rather than as an in-patient in hospital. When comparing different health insurance policies, look at the following areas:
- Cost – policies are available from the cheapest level, offering very basic cover, to more expensive offers which may include allowances for such areas as repatriation to your home country in the event of severe illness or death
- Treatment types that are covered – does the policy offer just basic hospital cover, or more extensive extras benefits such as visits to GPs or dentists?
- Benefit levels – if the policy does offer cover for such areas such as GP visits, dental and optical cover, compare the policy limits that may apply
- Percentage paid back – check what percentage of the total cost of your treatment you may be able to claim back under the policy
- Waiting periods – check how long you may have to wait before you can make a claim on the policy
Types of health insurance
This can help you pay for medical treatment if you need to be admitted to hospital. It can help cover the cost of your admission or accommodation and the fees charged by doctors, surgeons and anaesthetists. It can also cover other costs associated with a stay in a private hospital.
This helps cover the costs of health care treatments outside a hospital setting which aren’t covered by Medicare. This can include major and minor dental treatment, orthodontics, hearing aids, physiotherapy, glasses, contact lenses and podiatry (in most cases with annual limits).
This is a standard health insurance policy designed for a single person, rather than being tailored to cater to the needs of a couple or family. It may include hospital cover plus extras, or either of these types of insurance on their own, depending on what you're after for your health cover.
A family health insurance policy is designed for a family unit including dependent children who may reach up to 31 years of age with some insurers. It offers private health insurance suitable for the whole family and may include shared limits for all members included in your policy.
A health insurance policy aimed at seniors is designed to appeal to people who are in the second half of their life. These are often specific Silver Plus policies that offer the same cover as other health insurance policies, with the exception that pregnancy and childbirth cover may not be included.
Visitors who are in Australia on a temporary basis for travel, work or study may be able to take out Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC). Many visas issued in Australia come with a requirement to take out this type of insurance, which covers visitors who may not be covered by Medicare.
Ambulance cover is generally available either packaged into your private health insurance or on its own as a separate policy or subscription. By having this protection, you could be covered for all eligible ambulance travel in Australia (subject to your insurer's terms and conditions).
The cheapest and most barebones form of private hospital insurance, this can include cover for rehab, in-hospital psychiatric services and palliative care. Having this policy will enable you to avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) and Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading.
Bronze hospital cover is a step up from basic insurance, including 18 further clinical categories such as ear, nose and throat, bone, joint and muscle, digestive system, joint reconstructions, gynaecology and chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer.
Silver hospital cover is the second-most expensive type of policy and offers the second-most clinical categories. On top of what's offered by basic and bronze cover, it also includes heart and vascular system, lung and chest, blood, hearing device implantation and dental surgery.
The highest level of private hospital insurance available in Australia, gold policies can offer cover for pregnancy and birth, weight loss surgery, assisted reproductive services and insulin pumps on top of all the categories provided by silver, bronze and basic hospital insurance.
Why compare health insurance through Savvy?
Frequently asked questions about health insurance for a 461 visa
Helpful health insurance guides
Looking for health insurance to cover your condition or treatment?
Read one of our helpful guides on a range of different ailments and potential hospital or extras treatments to help you find out if they're covered.
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