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Health insurance for visitors

If you're visiting Australia on a 600 visa, overseas visitors health cover (OVHC) can pay for any unexpected medical bills. Compare OVHC policies below.

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Name Product Visa Compliant Hospital Cover Dental Pregnancy Cover GP Visits Medical Repatriation Price
HCF Short Stay Visitor Visa
From $55.50 per month
From $55.50 per month.
HCF Essentials Visitor Visa
From $126.50 per month
From $126.50 per month.
HCF Essentials Plus Visitor Visa
From $202.50 per month
From $202.50 per month.

Pricing is based on a single live in the State of New South Wales on a visa , and 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 2020 but are subject to change.

Do visitors need health insurance?

Unlike some other Australian visas, it's not a requirement for tourists to get health insurance for the 600 visa. However, just because it’s not mandatory, doesn’t mean you don’t need cover. The Department of Immigration strongly recommends private health insurance for anyone coming to Australia on a 600 visa. This is for two very important reasons:

  • Without it you'll need to pay for all your own medical costs in Australia, whether it’s a dental check up or a trip to the hospital emergency room after a serious accident.
  • Injury and sickness is unpredictable, particularly while travelling, so getting health insurance for tourists is an important part of the pre-flight checklist for experienced travellers.

What do I get with OVHC?

Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) is a type of health insurance designed specifically for visitors to Australia. It can cover you for:

Hospital treatment, accommodation and theatre fees
Doctor, surgeon and specialist fees
Emergency ambulance transportation fees
Private contract
Prescriptions and General Practitioner (GP) consultations

How do I get Medicare benefits as a 600 visa tourist?

Medicare is Australia’s public healthcare system, and generally it only covers Australian citizens and permanent residents. Most visitors to Australia aren’t eligible, unless there is an Reciprocal Health Care Agreement in place. This means that if you are visiting Australia from any of the following countries, you may be partially covered by Medicare. Australia has an RHCA with the following countries:

  • The United Kingdom
  • The Republic of Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • The Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Sweden
  • Slovenia
  • Norway
  • Finland
Did you know?
Ambulance services aren't covered by Medicare and can cost over $1,800 in Australia, unless you live in Queensland or Tasmania, where they're generally free.

OVHC waiting periods

A waiting period is the time you need to serve when you first take a policy before you can claim. The Australian Government sets the waiting periods for hospital treatments so they're the same no matter which health insurer you choose. They are:

  • 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.

FAQs about health insurance for visitors

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