Man in an airport departure lounge

457 visa health insurance

Work taking you to the Land Down Under? Find out about health insurance and the 457 visa conditions.

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.

Happily, many Australian health funds offer a range of working visa compliant medical insurance that is designed to suit a variety of needs and budgets.

Compare 457 visa health insurance

Details Features
Budget Workers Cover
  • From $85.70 per month*
  • Working visa compliant
  • Public hospital (shared room)
  • Dental & optical extras (available separately)
  • Pregnancy cover (public hospital)
  • Emergency ambulance cover
  • Medical repatriation ($20,000 benefit)
Call direct 1300 453 378 Enquire Now More info
Value Plus Visitor Cover
  • From $106.17 per month*
  • Working visa compliant
  • Public & private hospital (private room)
  • Dental & optical extras
  • GP (doctors) visits cover
  • Emergency ambulance cover
  • Medical repatriation
Call direct 1300 452 198 Enquire Now More info
Budget Visitor Cover
  • From $75.62 per month*
  • Working visa compliant
  • Public & private hospital (private room)
  • Dental & optical extras
  • Pregnancy cover (restricted benefit)
  • Emergency ambulance cover
  • Medical repatriation
Call direct 1300 452 198 Enquire Now More info
Details Features
Mid Workers Cover
  • From $120.85 per month*
    • Working visa compliant
    • Public & private hospital (shared room)
    • Dental & optical extras (available separately)
  • Pregnancy cover (restricted benefit)
  • GP (doctors) visits cover
  • Emergency ambulance cover
  • Medical repatriation ($20,000 benefit)
Call direct 1300 453 378 Enquire Now More info
Basic Visitor Cover
  • From $138.67 per month*
  • Working visa compliant
  • Public & private hospital (private room)
  • Dental & optical extras
  • Pregnancy cover (restricted benefit)
  • GP (doctors) visits cover
  • Emergency ambulance cover
  • Medical repatriation
Call direct 1300 452 198 Enquire Now More info
Details Features
Workers Cover Plus
  • From $186.15 per month*
  • Working visa compliant
  • Public & private hospital (private room)
  • Dental & optical extras (available separately)
  • Pregnancy cover
  • GP (doctors) visits cover
  • Emergency ambulance cover
  • Medical repatriation ($20,000 benefit)
Call direct 1300 453 378 Enquire Now More info
Overseas Visitors Health Cover
  • Enquire now for pricing
  • Working visa compliant
  • Public & private hospital (private room)
  • Dental & optical extras (available separately)
  • Pregnancy cover
  • GP (doctors) visits cover
  • Emergency ambulance cover
Call direct 1300 748 974 Enquire Now More info
Top Visitor Cover
  • From $322.83 per month*
  • Working visa compliant
  • Public & private hospital (private room)
  • Dental & optical extras (included in policy)
  • Pregnancy cover (family policy only)
  • GP (doctors) visits cover
  • Emergency ambulance cover
  • Medical repatriation
Call direct 1300 452 198 Enquire Now More info
Mid Visitor Cover
  • From $273.00 per month*
  • Working visa compliant
  • Public & private hospital (private room)
  • Dental & optical extras
  • Pregnancy cover (restricted benefit)
  • GP (doctors) visits cover
  • Emergency ambulance cover
  • Medical repatriation
Call direct 1300 452 198 Enquire Now More info
*Pricing is based on a single male planning to live and work in the State of New South Wales on a 457 visa who is not applying for permanent residency, 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 2017 but are subject to change.

What must a policy cover to be visa compliant?

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

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 to be covered 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 can also provide these additional benefits.

What isn't covered by this type of health insurance?

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 examples of commonly restricted or excluded services include the following:

  • Cardiac and cardiac-related services
  • Pregnancy and birth-related services
  • Knee and hip replacement
  • Cataract and eye lens procedures
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Assisted reproductive services

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 may want to think about taking out extras cover even if you are from an RHCA country.

Depending on how comprehensive your extras cover is, you may be able to claim benefits for the following treatments:

  • Major and general dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy and chiropractic
  • Pharmacy prescriptions
  • Health appliances such as hearing aids
  • Occupational therapy
  • Healthy lifestyle programs such as yoga
  • Natural therapies such as acupuncture

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.

Who is exempted from taking out health insurance?

The only ones who are not required to take out OVHC are visa holders who come from countries which have Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with Australia. These countries are:
RHCA countries that don't require health insurance
However, even if you hail from one of these countries you might want to 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 does not provide the level of cover that health insurance does.

Complete list of visitors health insurance providers

Health fundHospital cover for 457 visa holders Extras cover available or included? 
HIF health insurance
  • Comprehensive Working Visa 
  • Intermediate Working Visa
  • Essentials Working Visa
  • Basic Working Visa
  • Premium Options
  • Super Options
  • Special Options
  • Saver Options
Australian Unity
  • Workers Cover Plus
  • Mid Workers Cover
  • Budget Workers Cover
  • Comprehensive Extras
  • Basic Extras
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
  • Workers Cover Plus
  • Mid Workers Cover
  • Budget Workers Cover
  • Comprehensive Extras
  • Basic Extras
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

Commonly asked questions about visa 457 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Compare 457 working visa insurance from participating health funds

Latest headlines

Picture: Shutterstock

Richard Laycock

Richard is the insurance editor at finder.com.au. He is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Compare health insurance on finder.com.au

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question
feedback