Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

Bridging visa health insurance

Living in Australia on a bridging visa? Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC) protects you from unplanned medical costs. Compare OVHC policies from $77.25/month below.

Name Product Meets condition 8501 Hospital Cover Dental Pregnancy Cover GP Visits Medical Repatriation Price
Allianz Care Australia Budget Working Cover
$20,000
From $77.25 per month
From $77.25 per month.
HIF Basic Working Visa
$4,000
From $81.05 per month
From $77.90 per month.
HIF Essentials Working Visa
$4,000
From $107.60 per month
From $103.40 per month.
Allianz Care Australia Standard Working Cover
$20,000
From $113.85 per month
From $113.85 per month.
HIF Intermediate Working Visa
$6,000
From $134.75 per month
From $129.50 per month.
Allianz Care Australia Mid Working Cover
$20,000
From $167 per month
From $167 per month.
HIF Comprehensive Working Visa
$8,000
From $287.05 per month
From $275.80 per month.
Allianz Care Australia Top Working Cover
$20,000
From $313.75 per month
From $313.75 per month.
loading

*Pricing is based on a single male planning to live and work in the State of New South Wales on a working 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 2023 and are subject to change. Table displays health funds from Finder partners.

What health insurance do I need on a bridging visa?

Your health insurance requirements while staying in Australia under a bridging visa will depend on the visa you're applying for, or whether you are applying for permanent residency.

Graduated

Student

If you're on a student visa Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) will meet your cover needs. However, Belgian, Norwegian and some Swedish students can opt out of taking out OSHC and instead be covered under their respective countries' Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCAs) with the Australian Government.

Single

Visitor

If you're on a 457 visa, 485 visa, or any any visa with condition 8501 (a requirement that you take out health insurance) you'll need Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC). If you are unable to access any form of Medicare benefits, in most cases you can purchase OVHC. If you have an interim or full Medicare card, you can purchase a private health insurance policy for Australian residents.

How to provide evidence of your health insurance arrangements

"If applicants are required to provide evidence of their health insurance arrangements, any the following may be considered acceptable, unless a particular visa subclass instruction requires other specific information:

  • a copy of the insurance policy;
  • a written letter or cover note from an acceptable insurance provider, certifying that the primary visa applicant and any accompanying family members immediately upon visa grant or their arrival in Australia, are, or will be, covered by insurance that is at least as comprehensive as the prescribed adequate level of cover;
  • evidence that the visa applicant has lawfully enrolled with Medicare via Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RCHA);
  • evidence that the primary visa applicant and any accompanying family members immediately upon visa grant or their arrival in Australia, are, or will be, covered by health insurance that is at least as comprehensive as the adequate level of cover required under policy, with the understanding that the applicants will either enrol with Medicare under a RHCA or enrol in a private insurance arrangement after arrival; or
  • for citizens from the Republic of Ireland that may access RCHA, evidence that they hold an Irish passport.

Family members applying separately from the primary visa applicant or visa holder must produce evidence as per above, which clearly indicates that they, as dependant applicants, will be covered upon arrival in Australia by a policy with an adequate level of cover."

Washing machine on fire
— Kaku Caro is a lawyer in LegalVision's Corporate Immigration team. He has previous experience in the areas of commercial litigation, corporate and personal immigration. He also has experience advising on visa eligibility and preparing visa applications such as partner visas, employer-sponsored work visas, parent visas, and general skilled migration visas.

OSHC, OVHC or Medicare: What’s covered?

OSHC

OSHC is designed to help international students cover the cost of medical and hospital care they receive while in Australia. This type of cover is a mandatory requirement for overseas students residing in Australia on a temporary student visa. OSHC provides a financial safety net for international students, including cover for:

  • GP visits
  • Inpatient medical services
  • Shared accommodation in a public or private hospital
  • Day surgery accommodation
  • Limited pharmaceutical benefits
  • Ambulance services
  • Extras services such as optical, dental and physio (can be purchased for an additional cost)

OVHC

OVHC is designed for most overseas visitors who hold a temporary visa. It covers a portion of the medical expenses they incur while in Australia, including:

  • Medically necessary admissions to hospital
  • A portion of doctor’s fees
  • Ambulance transport
  • Some pharmaceuticals
  • Extras services such as optical, dental and physio (can be purchased for an additional cost)

Medicare

Medicare forms the basis of Australia’s public healthcare system. It provides free or subsidised cover for a range of medical services, including:

  • Medically necessary public hospital treatment
  • Visits to a general practitioner
  • Referrals to specialist doctors
  • Medical tests
  • Prescription medication included in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)

Medicare doesn’t cover everything. It won't cover treatment in a private hospital, ambulance costs, a portion of doctors’ bills or extras benefits such as optical and dental treatment. In addition, only some temporary visa holders from countries with an RHCA are eligible for cover under Medicare.

What is the 8501 visa condition?

The 8501 visa condition, also referred to as health insurance requirement 8501, requires student visa holders and many working visa holders to maintain an adequate level of health insurance cover while in Australia. Cover must be in place for the duration of your stay and if you fail to make the necessary arrangements, your application for a visa will be refused.

Which visas are affected by the 8501 visa condition?

Condition 8501 applies to several popular visas, including:

  • 457 and 482 temporary work (skilled) visa
  • 485 temporary graduate visa
  • Most temporary working visas
  • All student visas (Norwegian, Belgian and some Swedish students are exempt from the requirement due to Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with the Australian Government)

How do you apply for bridging visa health insurance?

It depends on what type of insurance you need: OVHC if you're a visitor, OSHC if you're a student and Medicare if you come from a country with a RHCA with Australia.

OVHC

If you need to apply for OVHC, you can purchase cover from health funds and general insurers based in Australia, or choose a policy issued by an insurer in another country. There are many policies to choose from, but remember that in some cases you will need to choose a policy specifically designed to suit your type of visa.

OSHC

OSHC can be arranged through your educational institution or purchased online through the website of an OSHC provider. Even if your education provider recommends a specific insurer, you are free to select the OSHC provider of your choice.

Medicare

To apply for Medicare, you can complete a Medicare Enrolment Application form, which is available from the Department of Human Services website. However, if you’re visiting Australia from an RHCA country and wish to enrol in Medicare you’ll need to provide your passport and a valid visa, and possibly identification that shows you are enrolled in your country’s national health care scheme.

The following countries have RHCAs with Australia:

RHCA countries that don't require health insurance

Is there any reason to consider OVHC or OSHC if they aren’t mandatory for me?

Despite its many advantages, the Medicare system certainly does not provide comprehensive cover for medical costs. Medicare doesn’t cover:

  • Ambulance services
  • Full doctor’s fees for in-hospital medical services
  • Medication that isn’t subsidised under the PBS
  • Home nursing
  • Physio, optical, dental and chiro

Happily, these and many more medical services can be covered if you take out OVHC or OSHC.

FAQs about bridging visa health insurance

On a bridging visa? Compare OVHC from Australian funds

More guides on Finder

Save on your health insurance

Go to site