Working holiday health insurance

If you're working in Australia on a 417 or 462 visa, you should consider Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC). Health insurance coverage could save you thousands if you need treatment. Compare OVHC policies today.

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Name Product Meets condition 8501 Hospital Cover Dental Pregnancy Cover GP Visits Medical Repatriation Price
Medibank Overseas Visitors Starter Hospital and Medical
From $51 per month
From $51 per month.
Medibank Overseas Workers Base Hospital
From $71 per month
From $71 per month.
Allianz Budget Working Cover
$20,000
From $70.20 per month
From $70.20 per month.
Medibank Overseas Workers Standard Hospital and Medical
From $104.50 per month
From $104.50 per month.
Allianz Standard Working Cover
$20,000
From $103.50 per month
From $103.50 per month.
Allianz Mid Working Cover
$20,000
From $151.80 per month
From $151.80 per month.
Medibank Overseas Workers Advanced Hospital and Medical
From $308 per month
From $308 per month.
Allianz Top Working Cover
$20,000
From $285.20 per month
From $285.20 per month.
Medibank Overseas Workers Premium Hospital, Medical and Extras
From $329.50 per month
From $329.50 per month.
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Pricing is based on a single live in the State of New South Wales on a visa and is not from a country that Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with and is not eligible for cover under Medicare. Prices are accurate for 2020 but are subject to change.

What is the working holiday visa for?

The 417 and 462 visas are both types of working holiday visas, allowing eligible young adults to travel and work in Australia for one or two years. Both let people aged 18 to 30 live and work in Australia for 12 months. Both allow you to extend your stay for another 12 months under certain conditions, including completing 3 months of specified work during your first 12 months.

Here are the main differences between the 417 and 462 visa:

  • Partner countries: Each visa is available to a different group of passport holders. If your passport doesn't give you access to the 417 visa, it may give you access to the 462 visa.
  • Education requirement: The 417 visa doesn't not have an education requirement, whereas the 462 visa does.
  • Age limits: Both visas are only available to people between 18 and 30 years of age, with some exceptions. Citizens of Canada, France and the Republic or Ireland are eligible for the 417 visa when they are aged 18 to 35 years.

With regard to the requirements for health coverage, both visas are the same -- you'll need to have adequate health coverage for the duration of your stay. If you're not covered under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA), this means you'll need Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC).

What work and study limitations are there on working holiday visas?

Under the Working Holiday Maker program, there's usually a 6 month work limitation. This means you can't work for the same employer for more than 6 months, though there are exceptions. For instance, you can work for the same employer for more than 6 months without asking permission in the following situations:

  • You work in different locations that doesn't exceed 6 months
  • You work in plant and animal cultivation
  • You work in specific industries in Northern Australia

You cannot study for more than 4 months on these visa.

Travel insurance or health insurance for a working holiday?

Getting the right insurance for working holidays can be confusing- you have a choice of either travel insurance or health insurance. Travel insurance covers you for flight cancellation, as well as coverage for travel-related emergencies and some repatriation costs, so it's a very good idea. However, Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC) offers more comprehensive cover for non-travel related medical expenses.

Reciprocal Health Care Agreement

If your home country has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia, you'll have access to some services under Australia's pblic health care system, Medicare. This will generally only cover emergency medical treatment, but won't pay for ambulance, dental, funeral, optical, or any treatment that isn't immediately necessary.

If you’re applying for a 417, there’s a good chance your home country has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia. If you're applying for a 462 visa, you probably won't have access to an RHCA, and will need additional coverage. Even if you do have some coverage under a RHCA, an OVHC policy will offer much more comprehensive cover.

How does OVHC work?

You can simply apply online with an Australian health insurance provider that offers OVHC.

Not all OVHC is the same however. You’ll find differences in cost and cover. Like most things, there are cheap basic ones and expensive high quality ones.

Some of the things to look at while comparing policies include:

  • How much of the hospital bills it covers: OVHC should generally cover at least 85% of the “MBS”. The MBS (Medicare Benefits Schedule) is basically a list of thousands of different medical treatments one might receive in hospital, and how much the essential version of each costs. It’s probably a good idea to look for a policy that covers 100% of the MBS rather than just the minimum.
  • Extras cover: Some policies will offer extra cover like visiting a doctor or dentist, prescription medication, and other services or treatments outside of hospital. Working holidays can see you staying in Australia for 6 months, or even a full year if it’s a second visa, so it can be a good idea to have this option available.
  • Additional benefits: Policies may include additional benefits like more cover for medical repatriation, funeral expenses and others. Repatriation is probably the most important additional benefit, and is found with most policies.
  • Cost: All the differences in cover mean there are differences in cost.

What kind of cover is good for a working holiday?

It all depends on the situation. If you’re after a working holiday, it’s safe to say you’re looking at a pretty active and busy trip, with some manual labour among it, so a policy that covers 100% is likely a good idea. This can be found even with cheap and basic policies.

OVHC policies with extras like dental cover, or visits to the doctor’s office are often considerably more expensive. If you think you’re likely to need it, have certain health issues or want the security of knowing you can go see a doctor without paying for it all out of pocket, it might be worth paying extra for a policy that offers extras.

Additional benefits are often “worst case scenario” things, like funeral expenses and medical repatriation. Repatriation cover is a good idea, and easy to find even with cheap policies.

Consider the type of cover you want, then compare options from different insurers to find value for money.

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