457 Visa Health Insurance

457 Visa Health Insurance

Coming to Australia? Find hospital cover that satisfies your 457 work visa health insurance requirement.

If you are planning to work in Australia on a 457 visa, you will need to take out a Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) policy for two reasons:

  • To meet the 8501 condition of your visa which requires you to have adequate health insurance.
  • To avoid costly medical fees for services that are not covered by our public health system called Medicare.

A range of OVHC policies are offered by Australian health funds that are designed to suit a variety of needs and budgets.

HIF Overseas Visitors Hospital & Medical Insurance

457 Visa Health Insurance Moving to another country can be a costly endeavour, but at the same time you shouldn't be expected to compromise on your health insurance. This is why the HIF Comprehensive Working Visa policy offers a high level of hospital cover at an affordable price.

  • Includes private room accommodation, ambulance transport and theatre fees
  • Covers pregnancy, cancer treatment, heart procedures, joint surgery and more
  •  Unlimited cover for outpatient services including GP visits, pathology and x-rays
  • $8000 medical repatriation benefit

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Compare 457 visa compliant health insurance

Details Features
Intermediate Working Visa
Intermediate Working Visa
  • Visa Condition 8501 compliant
  • Up to $6,000 for repatriation
  • Excess option: Not available
  • Cover for hospital accomodation
  • Cover for maternity services
  • Instant visa compliance letter
Get Quote More info
Workers Cover Plus
Workers Cover Plus
  • Visa Condition 8501 compliant
  • Up to $20,000 repatriation
  • Excess option: nil or $500
  • Cover for private hospital accommodation
  • Cover for day surgery procedures
  • Cover for out-of-hospital doctor and specialist fees
Enquire Now More info
Overseas Visitors Health Cover
Overseas Visitors Health Cover
  • Visa Condition 8501 compliant
  • Medical repatriation benefit
  • Excess option: Nil, $500 or $1,000
  • Accomodation in a private hospital
  • Cover for theatre and intensive care fees
  • Cover for pregnancy and birth related services
Enquire Now More info
Mid Visitor Cover
Mid Visitor Cover
  • Visa Condition 8501 compliant
  • Medical repatriation benefit
  • Excess option: Not available
  • 100% back on private hospital accomodation fees
  • 100% back on theatre, intensive care and ward fees
  • Cover for emergency ambulance transport
Enquire Now More info

Who needs health insurance for a 457 Visa?

Condition 8501 of the 457 visa requires holders and their families to have adequate health cover for the duration of their stay in Australia. The only exception to this are visa holders who come from countries which have Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with Australia. These countries are:

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Even if you hail from one of these countries you should consider taking out an OVHC policy as the level of subsidised medical care you can receive under the RHCA is generally restricted to vital treatments and should not be regarded as a substitute for health insurance.

What must a policy cover to comply with Condition 8501?

To be deemed adequate a health insurance policy must meet the following criteria:

  • Provide benefits at least equivalent to public hospital cover.
  • Include ambulance cover.
  • Cover all Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS) listed medications.
  • Cover all medical services listed under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).

Evidence that a 457 visa applicant's policy meets these minimum requirements will typically take the form of a letter from the insurance provider or from a sponsoring employer, stating that the necessary insurance has been obtained.

What can I expect OVHC to cover me for?

At a minimum your OVHC policy must provide the same amount of cover that is provided by the Australian public health system. However, as this only offers a basic level of cover you may wish to purchase a higher tier OVHC policy, especially if you require maternity services or specialised treatment such as dialysis.

More comprehensive OVHC policies will also provide additional benefits such as:

What is not covered by OVHC?

Like domestic health insurance, most OVHC policies contain restrictions (limited benefits for certain services) and exclusions (no cover for certain services), which vary depending on how comprehensive the cover is.

For example, pregnancy and maternity services are typically only covered in higher levels of OVHC, so if you require this service you may have to take out a more expensive policy and reduce the cost by choosing to pay a higher excess.

Some of the most commonly restricted or excluded services include:

Should I consider getting extras cover?

Extras cover is a form of health insurance policy that is designed to cover medical treatments that do not require you to be admitted to hospital, such as visits to the dentist and optician. Many of these services are not covered by Australia's public health system and can be very costly, so you should think about taking out extras cover even if you are from an RHCA country.

Depending on how comprehensive your extras cover is, you can claim benefits for:

Who offers health insurance for people on 457 visas?

Health fundHospital cover for 457 visa holders Extras cover available or included? 
HIF health insurance
  • Comprehensive Working Visa 
  • Intermediate Working Visa
  • Essentials Working Visa
  • Premium Options
  • Super Options
  • Special Options
  • Saver Options
Australian Unity
  • Budget Workers Cover
  • Workers Cover Plus
  • No extras policies available
HCF health insurance
  • Overseas Visitors Health Cover
  • Ultimate Extras
  • Lifestyle Plus Extras
  • Active Lifestyle Extras
  • Lifestyle Essentials
  • Basic Extras
nib health insurance 
  • Top Visitor Cover
  • Mid Visitor Cover
  • Basic Visitor Cover
  • Value Plus Visitor Cover
  • Budget Visitor Cover
  • Included in Top Visitor Cover
  • Included in Mid Visitor Cover
  • Included in Basic Visitor Cover
  • Included in Value Plus Visitor Cover
  • Not included in Budget Visitor Cover
Health fundHospital cover for 457 visa holders Extras cover available or included?
Allianz Global Assistance
  • Visitors Plus
  • Budget Visitors
  • Included in Visitors Plus
  • Not included in Budget Visitors
Australian Unity
  • Budget Workers Cover
  • Workers Cover Plus
  • No extras policies available
Bupa
  • Platinum Visitors Cover
  • Essential Plus Visitors Cover
  • Gold Visitors Cover
  • Essential Visitors Cover
  • Included in Platinum Visitors Cover
  • Included in Essential Plus Visitors Cover
Frank Health Insurance
  • Frank Minimum Working Visa
  • No extras policies available
hbf
  • Working Visa Hospital and Medical Cover
  • Working Visa Hospital Cover
  • Included in Working Visa Hospital & Medical Cover
  • Not included in Working Visa Hospital Cover
HCF
  • Overseas Visitors Health Cover
  • Ultimate Extras
  • Lifestyle Plus Extras
  • Active Lifestyle Extras
  • Lifestyle Essentials
  • Basic Extras
hif
  • Comprehensive Working Visa 
  • Intermediate Working Visa
  • Essentials Working Visa
  • Premium Options
  • Super Options
  • Special Options
  • Saver Options
nib
  • Top Visitor Cover
  • Mid Visitor Cover
  • Basic Visitor Cover
  • Value Plus Visitor Cover
  • Budget Visitor Cover
  • Included in Top Visitor Cover
  • Included in Mid Visitor Cover 
  • Included in Basic Visitor Cover
  • Included in Value Plus Visitor Cover
  • Not included in Budget Visitor Cover

Receive a quote for 457 visa compliant health insurance from an adviser

Pre-existing conditions and waiting periods

One important factor you need to be aware of is pre-existing medical conditions. While 457 visa health insurance providers are not allowed by law to exclude cover for pre-existing conditions, the Private Health Insurance Act 2007 allows them to impose a waiting period of up to 12 months before any benefit will be paid.

This waiting period can be particularly difficult for 457 visa holders because unlike Australian permanent residents they cannot access the public health system if their pre-existing condition requires urgent treatment, unless they are from one of the countries with a RHCA with Australia.

Commonly asked questions about 457 visa health insurance

If my 457 visa is being sponsored will my employer handle my health insurance?

When you apply for a 457 visa, you are responsible for taking out your own health insurance unless you were issued a 457 visa prior to 14 September 2009, in which case your sponsoring employer must maintain health insurance on your behalf. However, if you have a child after 2009 that dependant would not be the responsibility of your employer and you would need to take out health cover for them yourself.

If you change jobs and therefore sponsors, your new sponsor would become liable for your health cover, but only if you hold a 457 visa issued before 2009. If your health cover is included in your employment contract, which is often the case, you may be required to pay back any health insurance premiums your employer has paid on your behalf if you leave their employment.

Can I cover my family on the same policy?

Yes, you can cover your spouse and dependants under the same policy as you or under separate policies. Be aware that If they are covered under separate policies they must provide evidence of having obtained adequate health insurance prior to entering Australia.

Can I cancel my health insurance once I obtain my 457 visa?

No, If you were to cancel your health cover after being granted a 457 visa you would be in breach of Condition 8501 and your visa could be cancelled. Compliance is monitored by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection using information supplied by insurers.

What if my visa status changes?

If your visa status changes while you are working in Australia you will need to contact the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection for advice, as you may be able to apply for another type of visa that allows you to remain in Australia.

Do I need travel insurance if I have already purchased a OVHC policy?

Even if you have taken out a 457 visa compliant OVHC policy it is a good idea to take out travel insurance as well to cover you for the interim period of moving to Australia. Travel is fraught with unforeseen risks, such as cancelled flights and lost or stolen valuables, so having those risks covered by travel insurance (plus medical and hospital cover until you arrive in Australia), makes good sense. Many insurers cover dependent children for free as well, making it an even more affordable option.

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Picture: Shutterstock

Richard Laycock

Richard is the senior insurance writer at finder.com.au and is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

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