If you’re coming to Australia to work or visit on a temporary basis, it may be a requirement of your visa that you take out private health insurance while you’re here. The type of health insurance you need will depend on your home country, your reasons for visiting Australia and the type of visa you’re on.

We’ve teamed up with a leading health insurance provider, Australian Unity, to help you find Overseas Visitor Cover that meets your visa’s legal requirements while also providing you with peace of mind should the unexpected happen during your visit to Australia.

Temporary work

If you’re coming to Australia to work, you may be coming on a working visa, including a Temporary Work (457) visa. As part of your visa requirements, The Department of Immigration and Border Protection state that unless you have access to Medicare, you must have adequate private health insurance while you are working in Australia – for both yourself and any family members coming with you.

The good news is Australian Unity can help you find cover to suit your needs while also satisfying the requirements of your visa. Australian Unity’s Overseas Visitor Cover can offer you:

Get a quote today or call 1800 557 096 to speak directly to a consultant at our trusted partner, Australian Unity. Feel confident that you’ll have the peace of mind provided by private health insurance during your Australian adventure.


If you’re coming to Australia for a holiday or to visit family, you may be eligible for a Visitor Visa (600). While most people on a 600 visa don’t require health insurance as a condition of obtaining their visa, there are some cases where the Department of Immigration and Border Protection won’t grant the visa until an applicant holds adequate private health insurance.

Consider Australian Unity’s Overseas Visitors Cover for your upcoming visit to Australia. Get a quote online now or call 1800 557 096 to speak directly to a consultant at our trusted partner, Australian Unity.

Frequently asked questions

What is overseas visitor health cover?

Overseas visitor health cover – or OVHC – is a form of health insurance for international visitors who intend to work or travel within Australia. It ensures overseas travellers are covered if they need to be admitted into the public hospital system in Australia. Some visitors on workers visa may require OVHC to fulfil the conditions of their visa.

Who is covered by my overseas visitor health cover policy?

This will depend on what type of policy you have. Generally, there are three types of OVHC policies:

  • single. Covers the sole policyholder;
  • dual family. Covers the policyholder, plus a dependent partner (spouse or de facto) or children under 18; and
  • multi-family. Covers the policyholder and multiple family members.

What does overseas visitor health cover include?

Typically, OVHC includes the following:

  • accommodation and theatre fees for public hospitals;
  • doctors and specialist fees; and
  • emergency transportation and room costs.

However, the higher-level policy you purchase, the more features it’ll have. Always read the policy brochure of any policy for specific information on what’s covered.

What should I look for when purchasing overseas visitor health cover?

  • Public or private hospital cover. Basic policies may only include cover for public hospitals. If you’d prefer more options, it’s worth purchasing higher-level cover.
  • Excess. This is the amount you’ll pay when you make a claim. Agreeing to pay a higher excess can lower your premiums but will leave your pocket a little lighter when you need to be treated.
  • Waiting periods. Policy benefits are subject to waiting periods to protect the health fund from customers who purchase insurance just to make a claim. Waiting periods for OVHC policies range from two months to one year.
  • Inclusions and exclusions. A significant difference between policies is what they include and exclude. For example, higher-level policies may include benefits for pharmaceutical prescriptions, while it might be an exclusion for basic cover.

Do I need overseas visitor health cover?

OVHC is a requirement for many international travellers looking to get a visa. Visitors looking to stay in Australia on a working visa – including temporary skill shortage (482) and temporary graduate visas (485) – typically need OVHC to fulfil their visa requirements. Visitors on student visas may also require a form of overseas students’ health cover.

The following visa types are eligible for OVHC:

  • bridging visas.
    • 010 Bridging visa A
    • 020 Bridging visa B
    • 030 Bridging visa C
  • visitor visas.
    • 300 Prospective Marriage visa
    • 580 Guardian visa
    • 590 Student Guardian visa
    • 600 Visitor
    • 601 Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)
    • 651 eVisitor
    • 807 Sponsored Parent visa (Temporary)
  • working visas.
    • 188 Business Innovation and Investment
    • 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay)
    • 401 Temporary Work (Long Stay)
    • 402 Training and Research
    • 403 Temporary Work (International Relations)
    • 407 Training
    • 408 Temporary Activity
    • 416 Seasonal Worker Program
    • 476 Skilled Recognised Graduate
    • 482 Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS)
    • 485 Temporary Graduate
    • 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional)
  • working holiday visas.
    • 417 Working Holiday
    • 462 Work and Holiday

While most visitors require an OVHC policy, you may not need it if your country has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia. That said, a higher-level OVHC is still something you should consider if you’d like to have the option of being treated in a private hospital without paying for it in full.

What is the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement?

The Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) is a scheme where visitors from other countries can receive treatment in Australian public hospitals and have their costs covered through their own country’s public health system.

The following nations have a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia:

  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Sweden
  • The Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Norway
  • Slovenia
  • Malta
  • Italy

If you’re from another country, however, you’ll need overseas visitor health cover – otherwise, you’ll have to pay for treatments entirely out of your own pocket.