Health Insurance For 485 Visas

Find out the requirements for health insurance for 485 visas and compare quotes here through Savvy. 

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, updated on July 6th, 2023       

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Temporary graduate visas (subclass 485) allow visa holders to live and work in Australia and bring their families with them if appropriate. With this visa comes the requirement to hold adequate health insurance while living in Australia. As such, you’ll need to consider your health insurance options before you buy, which you can do right here through Savvy.

You can compare multiple quotes for Overseas Visitors Health Cover right here through Savvy. Just answer a few simple questions about the health cover you’re after and you'll be able to consider policies from a panel of some of Australia’s leading insurers. Look at different policies side-by-side, compare what they have to offer and get your health insurance sorted out quickly and easily here through Savvy.

How do I get health insurance in order to apply for a 485 visa?

If you’re intending to apply for a 485 temporary graduate visa, it’s a requirement that you take out health insurance to assist with your medical costs while you’re a resident in Australia. The Australian Government mandates the minimum level of health insurance you are required to hold to be considered for this type of visa.

Most often, such health insurance is offered through a health insurance policy called Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC). This form of health insurance is specifically designed for temporary visitors or residents of Australia who aren’t eligible for Medicare benefits.

To qualify for your visa, you’ll be required to supply proof that you have bought an OVHC policy. This proof will be supplied to you in a statement by your health insurance company once you buy the policy.

Savvy helps make the process of buying health insurance easy for visa applicants. Just follow these simple steps to get your health insurance needs sorted:

  1. Answer a few simple questions about your health insurance needs, such as your age, where you’re from and the type of cover you’re after
  2. Submit your quote form and receive a call back from a health insurance specialist to discuss your coverage options
  3. If you’re happy with the options available to you, you can go ahead and purchase your policy and lock in the cover you need for your 485 visa

What inclusions and exclusions come with OVHC policies for 485 visa applicants?

To comply with the government’s definition of ‘adequate insurance,’ the following inclusions must be part of the OVHC health insurance package you buy:

Public hospital cover

A benefit rate equal to the state and territory health authority gazetted rate for ineligible Medicare patients, including:

  1. Overnight and day-only hospital accommodation (including all costs for theatre, intensive care, labour wards and pharmaceuticals)
  2. Emergency department fees stemming from a hospital admission
  3. Admitted patient care and post-operative services required after discharge from hospital
  4. All admitted treatments covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule

Pharmacy

  1. For all Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule-listed drugs, a benefit equal to the listed price above the standard patient contribution

Medical cover

  1. For treatments and medical services, 100% of the Medical Benefits Schedule fee (or less if the patient is charged less)

Ambulance cover

  1. 100% of the cost of ambulance transport not otherwise covered by third-party arrangements, including inter-hospital transfers for emergency treatment

Some of the exclusions that may apply to your OVHC are:

  1. Laser eye surgery
  2. Hypnotherapy
  3. Some alternative medicines and therapies
  4. Assisted reproductive treatments
  5. Elective cosmetic treatments
  6. Other procedures not considered medically necessary
  7. Stem cell, bone marrow and organ transplants
  8. Treatment provided outside of Australia, including en route to or from Australia
  9. Treatment arranged in advance of arrival in Australia
  10. Services or treatments which are covered by compensation, damages or other legal claims

To comply with the minimum level of health insurance required by law, the per-person, per-annum total benefit must not be less than $1 million.

How much will health insurance cost to allow me to apply for my 485 visa?

There are many different OVHC insurance policies on offer which all comply with the government legal minimums required by 485 visa applicants. How much cover you choose to have over and above the legal minimum will depend on your health requirements and budget. See the table below for examples of average costs: 

Overseas Visitors Health Cover – examples 

Overseas Visitors Health Cover (cost per month) BUPA Frank HCF
Basic Cover
Essential Lite - $99.88
Basic Workers Cover - $64.50
Basic Cover - $74.50
Standard or Mid Cover
Essential 50 Visitors Cover – $152.46
Mid Workers Cover – $100
Mid Cover – $142.50
Top Cover
Essential with Top Extras 90 – $303.96
Mid Workers Plus Bundle – $125
Top Plus – $296.00

*Quotes based on a single, 25-year-old intending to live in SA for 12 months, with no dependents, applying for a 485 visa. Figures correct as of February 2023. 

The more options you choose, and the higher benefit limits the policy offers, the more you can expect to pay for that policy. For example, a policy offering a benefit limit for medical repatriation of $5,000 will generally be cheaper than one offering up to $25,000 in this area. 

The areas to compare which will affect the cost of your OVHC policy are: 

  • Does the policy comply with the requirements for your 485 visa? 
  • Does the policy offer hospital cover? If so, what are the benefit limits? 
  • Does it include cover for dental treatment? 
  • Does it cover pregnancy and obstetric care (may only be a consideration for female applicants or those with a partner considering starting a family)? 
  • Does it cover the cost of visiting a GP? 
  • What is the allowance for medical repatriation to your home country in the event of severe injury or death (which can range from $5,000 to $25,000 or more?) 

The level of cover you choose will directly affect the cost of your policy. For example, if you choose to buy a policy which doesn’t offer dental cover, your policy will likely be cheaper, but if you do need dental treatment, you’ll have to pay the full cost of your treatment out-of- pocket. 

Types of health insurance

Why compare health insurance through Savvy?

Frequently asked questions about health cover for 485 visa holders

If I hold a 485 visa, do I need the same insurance as my family if they're just visiting me temporarily?

No – if your family are just visiting you temporarily while you are resident in Australia, they may be able to get cover for their health needs through their travel insurance. In contrast, 485 visa applicants need specific health insurance approved by the government and offered through OVHC policies. 

If I get OVHC hospital cover, what are the waiting period limits for being able to claim against the policy?

Waiting periods are also legislated by the Australian Government. Any OVHC you buy may have the following waiting periods as a maximum:  

  • 12 months for pre-existing conditions 
  • 12 months for pregnancy and obstetrics (birth-related treatments) 
  • Two months for psychiatric treatment, rehabilitation or palliative care (even for pre-existing conditions) 
  • Two months for all other in-hospital circumstances 
  • Waiting periods for extras, such as dental, optical and natural therapies aren’t legislated by the government, so these may vary 
If I’ve served health insurance waiting periods previously, will I have to serve them again?

In this situation, you may not have to re-serve your waiting period. However, this will depend on the type of health insurance you’ve previously had. If you have been studying in Australia to gain your Master's degree, you may have held Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). If you have served waiting periods with this type of health insurance, you won’t need to re-serve them if you’re switching to OVHC.   

What is the 8501 visa condition and how does it affect my 485 visa?

The 8501 visa condition is the official Australian Government condition which requires you to hold adequate health insurance to be granted a visa. This condition applies to most work and study visas, including:  

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