Australian Unity Overseas Visitor Health Cover
Whether you're visiting or working, Australian Unity has six OVHC options to choose from.
Australian Unity has existed since 1840 and primarily provides health insurance to Australians. To meet the needs of a large temporary population living, working or visiting in Australia, it also provides Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC) to non-residents.
If you're making plans to visit or work in Australia, your visa will most likely require that you have a sufficient level of health insurance. This article will look at what cover is available for non-residents and who is eligible as well as some of the features and benefits of each policy.
Comparison of overseas visitors health cover from Australian Unity
What cover does Australian Unity offer?
Australian Unity offers six policies for overseas visitors, broken down into working visa cover, and visitor and working holiday visa cover. All policies include cover for emergency ambulance transportation fees.
- Budget Workers Cover. This basic policy covers you for the costs of a shared room in a public hospital, including overnight accommodation, day surgery and theatre fees. You can claim money back for in-hospital fees but it does not cover private hospital or extras (out of hospital) cover.
- Mid Workers Cover. This mid-range policy covers you for a shared room in private and public hospitals for the majority of minor and major operations, with some restrictions. You can claim money back for in-hospital and extras (out of hospital) fees as well as money back for some out of pocket medications, with some restrictions.
- Workers Cover Plus. The most comprehensive cover for working visa holders, this covers you for a shared room, or private room where available, in private and public hospitals for the majority of operations. You can claim money back for in-hospital and extras (out of hospital) fees as well as money back for some out of pocket medications.
- Basic Overseas Visitor Cover. This policy covers you for the costs of a shared room, some in-hospital fees, day surgery and theatre fees in an agreed private hospital, though restrictions apply for public hospitals.
- Mid Overseas Visitor Cover. This mid-range policy includes everything the basic policy covers as well as cover for a private room, where available, in a private hospital. Other services include cover for some prescriptions, pre-existing conditions and rehabilitation.
- Top Overseas Visitor Cover. Cover includes everything in the mid-range policy as well as hip and knee replacement. It also comes with higher yearly benefit limits for singles, couples and families.
Who is Australian Unity OVHC for?
Australian Unity OVHC is tailor made for visa applicants who require health insurance as part of their visa requirements. It's also suitable for you if you are travelling around Australia and you don't have travel insurance or it doesn't cover your medical expenses.
Australian Unity provides cover for working and non-working (visitor and holiday) visa holders. Here's a simple breakdown of which cover is suitable for specific visa types.
- Working Visa Cover: You will need a working visa health insurance policy if you are on a working visa. This includes visas such as the 407 Training Visa, 482 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa and the 485 Temporary Graduate Visa. You can also get cover for the 457 Visa with Australian Unity OVHC.
- Non-working Visa Cover: This is for temporary visitors who are not working, including the 600 Visitor Visa. It's also intended for those who are here and on certain working holiday visas, including the 417 Working Holiday Visa and 462 Work and Holiday Visa.
Features and benefits
Below are listed some of the main features included with Australian Unity policies.
- Cover for accommodation and theatre fees in over 500 private hospitals throughout Australia, up to yearly limits.
- Emergency ambulance transportation when you need to go to hospital.
- Help covering the costs of medical fees from doctors' fees and GP visits to tests and X-rays that occur in and out of hospital.
- Emergency room fees when you are admitted to hospital.
- Cover for a range of treatments and services including day surgery and procedures.
For a more detailed list of specific benefits and services covered, check out the table below. Remember to read the product disclosure statement (PDS) for a full list of services provided.
|Visa type||Workers visa||Visitor and holiday visa|
|Shared room accommodation|
|In-hospital doctor and specialist fees|
|Day surgery and procedures|
(for included services)
|Pregnancy and related services|
How OVHC works
While Australian citizens and residents have access to both Medicare (Australia's public healthcare system) and private health insurance, overseas visitors generally do not. This means if you don't have health cover, you will most likely need to pay for hospital and out of hospital services yourself.
When you sign up for a policy with Australian Unity, it will email a compliance letter that you can include as part of your visa application to make sure it is accepted.
Depending on the policy you get, Australian Unity OVHC can give you access to hospital and out of hospital (commonly known as extras) care. With Australian Unity Working Visa policies, you will be able to access public health services (as well as private on Mid and Plus policies) similar to the way Australians have access to Medicare. With visitor and holiday visas, you will gain access to agreement private hospitals but won't generally be covered if you go to a public hospital. Remember that for hospital services you will ordinarily have an excess to pay.
When you need to visit the doctor, the benefits you will receive are based on what a Medicare patient would get back when they need to go to the doctor. Keep in mind though that if a doctor charges more than the standard Medicare rate, you will incur out of pocket expenses which Australian Unity will not cover.
How to claim
You can claim for the following services in these ways:
For ambulance services, you can claim by mail or fax.
- Fill out a health cover claim form.
- Get and attach your ambulance receipt to the form.
- Mail or fax the completed form and receipt to Australian Unity.
Before agreeing to hospital treatment, contact Australian Unity to make sure you're covered and to help speed up the claims process. The majority of private hospitals have an agreement with Australian Unity which will cover you for some or all accommodation and theatre fees. If you get pre-approval, the hospital will send the bill to Australian Unity.
For medical services, you will generally have to either:
- Pay the doctors up front, then claim the money back.
- Submit unpaid bills to Australian Unity.
You can mail, email or fax your health cover claim form for medical services and doctor visits. Follow these steps when submitting your claim:
- Fill out a health cover claim form.
- Attach any relevant receipts to the form.
- Send the completed form and receipts to Australian Unity.
The visas covered by an Australian Unity Overseas Visitor policy include:
- 462 Work and Holiday
- 407 Training
- 408 Temporary Activity
- 457 Temporary Work (Skilled)
- 482 Temporary Skills Shortage
- 403 Temporary Work Visa (International Relations)
- 485 Temporary Graduate
- 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist)
- 417 Working Holiday
- 444 Special Category - New Zealand Citizen
- 461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship
- 476 Skilled - Recognised Graduate
- 489 Skilled Regional
- 188 Business Innovation and Investment
- Bridging Visa A, B, C, D & E
- 590 Student Guardian
- 600 Visitor
- 601 Electronic Travel Authority
- 651 eVisitor
- Other working and non-working visas
Ask an Expert