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188 Visa Health Insurance

Get health insurance to meet the Business Innovation and Investment (188) visa requirements and manage your own business in Australia. Compare OVHC from $55.50/month.

What you need to know

  • The 188 visa is a temporary visa for skilled workers to live and work in Australia, with potential for permanent residency.
  • Holders of the 188 visa must have comprehensive health cover or risk having their application denied.
  • The 188 visa is for individuals with established business skills who want to own and manage a business in Australia or invest in an Australian state or territory.
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Name Product Meets condition 8501 Hospital Cover Dental Pregnancy Cover GP Visits Medical Repatriation Price
HCF Short Stay Visitor Visa
From $55.50 per month
Medibank Overseas Workers Base Hospital
From $73 per month
Allianz Care Australia Budget Working Cover
$20,000
From $77.25 per month
Medibank Overseas Workers Standard Hospital and Medical
From $113 per month
Allianz Care Australia Standard Working Cover
$20,000
From $113.85 per month
HCF Essentials Visitor Visa
From $126.50 per month
Allianz Care Australia Mid Working Cover
$20,000
From $167 per month
HCF Essentials Plus Visitor Visa
From $202.50 per month
Allianz Care Australia Top Working Cover
$20,000
From $313.75 per month
Medibank Overseas Workers Advanced Hospital and Medical
From $406 per month
Medibank Overseas Workers Premium Hospital, Medical and Extras
From $437.50 per month
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What are the requirements for the 188 visa?

The 188 has several age, financial and business requirements. Requirements may differ depending on what stream you go onto. The Business Innovation stream's requirements include:

  • You must be aged under 55 and have had an overall successful career in business.
  • Own a business with a turnover of at least $500,000 for a minimum of 2 of the last 4 fiscal years.
  • Have personal and business assets of $800,000 or more.
  • Pass the Business Innovation and Investment points test.

You must also have adequate health cover in place or your application will not be granted. The 8501 health requirement means you need comprehensive cover so you do not become a burden on Australian's public health care system, Medicare.

How does health cover work in Australia?

Medicare is Australia's public health care system and is available to all citizens and residents. It pays a benefit towards your doctor's fees of up to 75% for you to be treated as a patient in a public hospital, excluding medication, accommodation and surgery fees. It doesn't cover extras (ancillary) services so most Australians have some form of private health cover.

What are the health requirements for the 188 Visa?

As part of the 188 Visa requirements, you will need to have a health examination and hold comprehensive cover. Australia has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with many European countries including United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden and Ireland. This gives you access to Medicare, satisfying the 188 requirements.

If you are not entitled to Medicare under the RHCA – or want more comprehensive cover – you can get Overseas visitors health cover (OVHC). It can cover you for things like emergency ambulance services, hospital bills, visits to the doctor, out of hospital services like dental and prescriptions.

Pricing is based on a single individual living 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.

Who is the 188 Visa for?

The 188 Visa is for individuals with established business skills who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia, or to invest in an Australian state or territory.

Depending on your financial situation, aims and goals, you may be eligible for one of the following six streams on the 188 Visa. These include:

  • Investor stream: Requires you to invest at least $1.5 million in an Australian State or Territory.
  • Significant Investor stream: Requires you to invest at least $5 million in Australian investments.
  • Business Innovation Extension stream: Lets Investor stream visa holders extend their stay in Australia for 2 more years.
  • Significant Investor Extension stream: Lets Significant Investor stream visa holders extend their stay in Australia for up to 4 more years.
  • Premium Investor stream: For people who are nominated by the CEO of Aus-trade and who invest at least $15 million in Australian investments.
  • Entrepreneur stream: Allows you to carry out entrepreneurial activities in Australia.

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Editor, Insurance & Innovations

Gary Ross Hunter was an editor at Finder, specialising in insurance. He’s been writing about life, travel, home, car, pet and health insurance for over 6 years and regularly appears as an insurance expert in publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and news.com.au. Gary holds a Kaplan Tier 2 General Advice General Insurance certification which meets the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146). See full bio

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Gary Ross has written 730 Finder guides across topics including:
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