Health Insurance For 461 Visa

Compare quotes for health insurance for 461 visa holders through Savvy today. 

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, updated on July 6th, 2023       

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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 

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Frequently asked questions about health insurance for a 461 visa

What happens if I can’t afford private health insurance when I’m on a 461 visa?

It is a condition of your 461 visa that you hold adequate health insurance as defined by the Australian Government. You will need to provide proof that you have this cover when you apply for your visa. If you can’t afford to pay the premiums for this health insurance while you are in Australia, and so no longer have health insurance, your visa may be at risk, so you should seek urgent legal advice and contact your insurer.  

Will my health insurance for a 461 visa cover all my health costs in Australia?

No – even if you have a top-level policy, while many of your out-of-pocket costs may be covered, there may still be areas where you’ll have to contribute to the cost of your treatment. For instance, if your medical practitioner charges more than what Medicare is able to contribute to the cost of your treatment, you’ll have to pay the difference yourself. 

Will New Zealand’s reciprocal health care agreement (RHCA) help me in Australia?

No – this is because subclass 461 visas are only offered to relatives of New Zealand citizens who aren't citizens themselves. Therefore, such applicants won’t be covered by New Zealand’s public health service, known as Health New Zealand. However, if your home country has a RHCA with Australia, you can be covered by Medicare for certain treatments.

Will I have to pay for all my health insurance in advance when I come to Australia?

No – OVHC is offered by insurers on a month-by-month basis, paid a month in advance. If you're intending to visit your New Zealand relatives in Australia for longer than a one-month stay, you’ll be able to pay for your health insurance as you go, for the length of time that you need cover.

Will this insurance cover my parents visiting Australia as tourists on a 870 visa?

Yes, OVHC health cover is suitable for parents who may be visiting Australia as tourists for an extended length of time under a Sponsored Parent (subclass 870) visa

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