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Health insurance for 489 visa holders

Applying for an Australian 489 visa? Compare health insurance policies that satisfy your entry requirements.

In order to qualify for a 489 visa, you need to fulfil Condition 8501, which requires applicants to take out an adequate health insurance policy. While this may seem like a strict rule, the purpose of it is to ensure that visitors to this country are not hit with costly out-of-pocket expenses in the event that they require medical treatment. In the majority of cases, non-citizens, or those without permanent residency, are excluded from subsidised care through the public health system.

A number of Australian health funds offer Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC), which is designed to meet the 489 visa requirements. Policies from participating health funds can be compared below.

Compare OVHC for 489 visas from participating providers

The policies below are all Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) compliant

The OVHC products listed below fulfil Condition 8501 requirements regarding health insurance for working visas.


HIF health insurance

HIF

The benefits of joining HIF include:

  • A 4% discount if you opt to pay your premium annually, or a 2% discount if you pay half-yearly.
  • Choose from five extras policies to add to your OVHC to get cover for out-of-hospital services such as dental and optical.

Available policies

Details Features
Comprehensive Working Visa
Comprehensive Working Visa
  • Level of cover: High
  • $218.60 per month (for singles)
  • $8,000 repatriation benefit
  • Private room in a private hospital
  • Access Gap Cover to minimise extra costs
  • $500 excess option available
Get Quote More info
Intermediate Working Visa
Intermediate Working Visa
  • Level of cover: Medium
  • $105.10 per month (for singles)
  • $6,000 repatriation benefit
  • Shared room in a private hospital
  • $500 annual benefit for outpatient treatment
  • Cover for X-rays and pathology
Get Quote More info
Essentials Working Visa
Essentials Working Visa
  • Level of cover: Low
  • $92.10 per month (for singles)
  • $4,000 repatriation benefit
  • Shared room in a public hospital
  • Cover for theatre fees (in a public hospital)
  • Cover for maternity services (in a public hospital)
Get Quote More info
Basic Working Visa
Basic Working Visa
  • Level of cover: Low
  • $69.00 per month (for singles)
  • $4,000 repatriation benefit
  • Shared room in a public hospital
  • Covers vital treatments in a public hospital
  • Currently the most affordable OVHC available
Get Quote More info

australian unity overseas visitors health cover

Australian Unity

The benefits of joining Australian Unity include:

  • An optional $500 excess that reduces your premium payments.
  • Choose from two extras policies to add to your OVHC to get cover for out-of-hospital services such as dental and optical.

Available policies

Details Features
Workers Cover Plus
Workers Cover Plus
  • Level of cover: High
  • $184.55 per month (for singles)
  • $20,000 repatriation benefit
  • Private room (where available) in a private hospital
  • 150% back on doctor and specialist fees
  • $500 benefit for pharmacy prescriptions
Enquire Now More info
Mid Workers Cover
Mid Workers Cover
  • Level of cover: Medium
  • $120.85 per month (for singles)
  • $20,000 repatriation benefit
  • Shared room in a private hospital
  • 100% back on doctor and specialist fees
  • $300 benefit for pharmacy prescriptions
Enquire Now More info
Budget Workers Cover
Budget Workers Cover
  • Level of cover: Low
  • $84.85 per month (for singles)
  • $20,000 repatriation benefit
  • Shared room in a public hospital
  • 100% back on doctor and specialist fees
  • Cover for emergency ambulance transport
Enquire Now More info

HCF health insurance

HCF

The benefits of joining HCF include:

  • An optional $500 or $1,000 excess that reduces your premium payments.
  • Choose from five extras policies to add to your OVHC to get cover for out-of-hospital services such as dental and optical.

Available policies

Details Features
Overseas Visitors Health Cover
Overseas Visitors Health Cover
  • Level of cover: High
  • Enquire now for pricing
  • Repatriation benefit unavailable
  • Private room in an HCF affiliated private hospital
  • Cover for operating theatre and intensive care fees
  • Cover for emergency ambulance transport
Enquire Now More info

nib health insurancenib

The benefits of joining nib include:

  • Visa compliance certificate delivered within 48 hours of being approved for cover.
  • A special discount on your premium cost if you switch to a domestic nib policy upon attaining permanent residency.

Available policies

Details Features
Top Visitor Cover
Top Visitor Cover
  • Level of cover: High
  • $312.00 per month (for singles)
  • Repatriation benefit
  • Accomodation in a private hospital
  • Includes cover for dental, optical, physio and GP visits
  • $2,000 benefit for pharmacy prescriptions
Enquire Now More info
Mid Visitor Cover
Mid Visitor Cover
  • Level of cover: High
  • $260.00 per month (for singles)
  • Repatriation benefit
  • Accomodation in a private hospital
  • Cover for out of hospital doctors visits
  • Cover for out of hospital physiotherapy
Enquire Now More info
Basic Visitor Cover
Basic Visitor Cover
  • Level of cover: Medium
  • $134.33 per month (for singles)
  • Repatriation benefit
  • Accomodation in a private hospital
  • Cover for out of hospital doctors visits
  • $500 benefit for pharmacy prescriptions
Enquire Now More info
Value Plus Visitor Cover
Value Plus Visitor Cover
  • Level of cover: Medium
  • $97.50 per month (for singles)
  • Repatriation benefit
  • Accomodation in an nib affiliated private hospital
  • Cover for out of hospital doctors visits
  • $500 benefit for pharmacy prescriptions
Enquire Now More info
Budget Visitor Cover
Budget Visitor Cover
  • Level of cover: Low
  • $74.54 per month (for singles)
  • Repatriation benefit
  • Accomodation in a private hospital
  • Cover for operating theatre and ward fees
  • Cover for emergency ambulance transport
Enquire Now More info

What determines adequate health insurance under the 489 visa rules?

To be considered "adequate" for 489 visa requirements, all OVHC policies must:

Do any exclusions apply to OVHC?

Depending on the level of OVHC you purchase, you may be unable to claim for certain treatments. It's recommended that you study each policy carefully so that you're aware of what is and isn't claimable, especially if you are seeking cover for something specific such as maternity services, which is usually excluded from cheaper OVHC policies.

Examples of commonly excluded treatments

How long do I have to wait before I can claim?

Just like domestic health insurance, OVHC policies have different waiting periods applied to different services. The Australian Government sets the waiting periods for hospital treatments so they do not differ between health funds:

  • 12 months for pre-existing conditions (excluding psychiatric, rehabilitation and palliative care).
  • 12 months for pregnancy and maternity services.
  • 2 months for all other hospital treatments and services.

If you are planning to purchase extras cover with your OVHC policy for out-of-hospital services such as dental or physiotherapy, be aware that each health fund can set the waiting periods for these services individually, so remember to take this into account when comparing policies.

What are 489 visa designated areas?

The areas of regional Australia that you are able to live and work in will depend on whether your 489 visa application was either:

  • Nominated by a State or Territory government agency. Defined as regional and low population growth metropolitan areas.
  • Sponsored by an eligible relative. Defined as designated areas.

The regional, low population and designated areas for each pathway option can be found below:

Regional and low population growth metropolitan areas

State or territoryPostcodes
New South Wales (NSW) 
  • 2311 to 2312
  • 2328 to 2411
  • 2420 to 2490
  • 2536 to 2551
  • 2575 to 2594
  • 2618 to 2739
  • 2787 to 2898
Queensland (QLD) 
  • 4124 to 4125
  • 4133
  • 4211
  • 4270 to 4272
  • 4275
  • 4280
  • 4285
  • 4287
  • 4307 to 4499
  • 4515
  • 4517 to 4519
  • 4522 to 4899
Victoria (VIC)
  • 3211 to 3334
  • 3340 to 3424
  • 3430 to 3649
  • 3658 to 3749
  • 3753
  • 3756
  • 3758
  • 3762
  • 3764
  • 3778 to 3781
  • 3783
  • 3797
  • 3799
  • 3810 to 3909
  • 3921 to 3925
  • 3945 to 3974
  • 3979
  • 3981 to 3996
Western Australia (WA) 
  • 6041 to 6044
  • 6083 to 6084
  • 6121 to 6126
  • 6200 to 6799
South Australia (SA)
  • Whole state
Northern Territory (NT)
  • Whole state
Tasmania (TAS)
  • Whole state

Designated areas

State or territoryPostcodes
New South Wales (NSW) 
  • 2311 to 2312
  • 2328 to 2333
  • 2336 to 2490
  • 2535 to 2551
  • 2575 to 2739
  • 2787 to 2898
Queensland (QLD) 
  • 4019 to 4028
  • 4037 to 4050
  • 4079 to 4100
  • 4114
  • 4118
  • 4124 to 4150
  • 4158 to 4168
  • 4180 to 4899
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
  • Whole state
Victoria (VIC)
  • Whole state
South Australia (SA)
  • Whole state
Western Australia (WA)
  • Whole state
Northern Territory (NT)
  • Whole state
Tasmania (TAS)
  • Whole state

Are all overseas visitors excluded from Medicare?

As the holder of a 489 visa you cannot receive subsidised health care services from the public health system called Medicare, unless you are from a country that Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with. These countries are:

RHCA countries that don't require health insurance

Be aware that the cover you receive from the RHCA is very limited and you are likely to incur out-of-pocket expenses for everything but the most essential medical treatments. This is why you should still consider taking out an OVHC policy even if you come from an RHCA nation.

Who offers OVHC in Australia?

The following providers offer health insurance for 489 visa holders, which is fully compliant with the Australian Department of Border Protection and Immigration requirements relating to working visas:

  • Allianz Global Assistance
  • Australian Unity
  • Bupa
  • Frank Health Insurance
  • HBF
  • HCF
  • HIF
  • nib

Compare visitors health insurance for 489 visas and get covered

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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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