Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC)

May 4, 2023

Overseas health insurance is an important consideration when visiting Australia. With the right health coverage, travelers can enjoy peace of mind knowing that they are covered for any medical expenses incurred during their travels. Choosing the right overseas health insurance policy requires some research and understanding of the options available in Australia. When selecting an overseas health insurance plan, it’s important to consider both what type of coverage is necessary and how much you’re willing to spend on premiums. It’s also important to understand which countries are included in your policy, as well as any exclusions or limitations that may apply. Additionally, make sure to look at other features such as portability, flexibility, and access to emergency care wherever you travel.

Maintaining adequate overseas visitors’ health insurance in Australia is a mandatory condition on many temporary visas. The Australian Department of Home Affairs recommends foreign visitors have a valid subclass 600 visa health insurance plan to cover the cost of any unanticipated hospitalization or medical treatment expenditure if any during their temporary stay.

If you or any of your family members are planning to visit Australia for an extended period of time. Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) is an insurance policy that covers you for medical and hospital expenses while you are in Australia. The only exception is if the visitors are from a country that has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia. Depending on the policy, OVHC can cover your parents for accidental injury, heart procedures, cancer treatments, joint reconstructions, pregnancy, gastric banding, and much more.

Who needs OVHC?

If you are planning to visit Australia on a temporary visa, such as a tourist visa, student visa, or work visa, you will need to have OVHC. This includes parents of Australian residents who are visiting their children in Australia. It is important to note that the Australian government requires all temporary visa holders to have adequate health insurance while in the country.

What does OVHC cover?

OVHC policies generally cover the cost of medically-required hospital admissions, emergency ambulance services, and a portion of doctor’s fees. Some policies may also cover extras such as dental, optical, and physiotherapy. The level of coverage will depend on the policy you choose, so it is important to read the product disclosure statement (PDS) carefully before purchasing. Also, note most companies do not cover pre-existing illnesses and some do not cover heart diseases or Services related to assisted reproduction (e.g. IVF), Treatment is provided outside Australia, and Treatment is arranged in advance of the visitor’s arrival. Hence is very crucial to check these details before taking a cover just to ensure you have the appropriate cover

Also remember if Visiting Indian parents are aged 70 and over, they may struggle to find adequate Australian health insurance. some of the visitor visa condition clearly stipulates that a visa holder must maintain “adequate health insurance” for the duration of their stay in Australia.

For example, a few snipped shows there is option available with providers when we enter a visitor visa 600 & 71 years old visitor

Attached Brochure for Allianz Care

Why is OVHC important?

If you require medical treatment while in Australia and you do not have adequate health insurance, you could be faced with significant out-of-pocket expenses. This can be particularly stressful if you are in a foreign country and away from your support network. In some cases, medical treatment in Australia can be very expensive, especially if you require hospitalization or surgery.

Recent examples in Australia have shown the importance of OVHC, with some families having to bear the costs of medical treatment for their loved ones or having their insurance claims rejected by overseas insurance companies. This can cause significant emotional and financial stress, which could have been avoided with adequate OVHC.

  1. Visiting Indian families’ struggle to claim health insurance
  2. Coming to Australia on a visitor visa? Don’t forget insurance
  3. International students are asked to pay up-front before emergency treatment in Queensland hospitals

We have seen several crowdfunding raised for a similar situation where the Indian community has come forward but this could have been avoided by following the correct procedure and cover.

A daughter appeals for funds to save her father who fell sick on visit to Australia

How to purchase OVHC?

There are several Australian insurance companies that offer OVHC policies. It is important to compare policies and prices to find the best policy for your needs. You can purchase OVHC online or through a registered migration agent. it is very important that you read their PDS for hospital stay coverage as hospital stay is the most expensive part of Australian hospitals ( On Average ICU 24 hrs stay is between $7000 to $8000, and a Normal ward 24 hrs stay is $4000 – These are approx cost). It is also suggested to go to Australian companies when taking insurance as various feedback suggests some times it is stressful to make a claim via Indian companies

If you are planning to visit Australia on a temporary visa, OVHC is an important consideration. It can provide you with peace of mind and protect you from potentially significant out-of-pocket expenses. Don’t take the risk – make sure you have adequate OVHC before you arrive in Australia and please DO NOT just look for cheap insurance, when looking for insurance it is crucial to check what is covered and how easy it is to make a claim

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