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If you're applying for a 482 Visa, you'll probably need Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) for the whole time you're in Australia. This health insurance should help protect you from big bills should you need the hospital.
Anyone who possesses a skill that cannot be met by an Australian. In other words, this visa allows employers to bring in skilled workers from overseas when the role cannot be filled by an Australian.
This visa comes under the short-term stream classification which means that anyone on this visa can stay in the country up to 2 years (or 4, if an international trade obligation applies). You must be sponsored by an approved business but you can be in or outside Australia when you lodge your application.
This is a mandatory requirement for anyone on a 482 visa. That means if other members of your family are coming over on the same visa, everyone is required to have OVHC. Most insurers offer singles, couples and family policies so that you can all be covered under the same policy.
It’s really important that you make sure you get adequate health insurance on this visa, as without it, your visa won’t be approved; it’s part of the 8501 requirements.
A number of conditions have changed for the TSS Visa. Some of the eligibility criteria changes include:
Overseas Visitors Health Cover is health insurance designed for those who come to work in Australia on a temporary basis. Its aim is to ensure they have access to adequate health cover while they are here, as they are not eligible for Medicare.
Without the protection of OVHC, they would be unable to access hospital or medical treatment without being liable for huge out of pocket costs.
In order to comply with the TSS 482 visa (previously the 457 visa), OVHC must be at least equivalent to public hospital cover and include cover for theatre, intensive care, labour ward, ward drugs and emergency department costs. It must also cover day surgery accommodation and treatment, some surgically implanted prosthetics, ambulance transport, PBS listed medications and MBS listed medical services.
The OVHC must not only cover the TSS visa holder, but any members of their family who accompany them to Australia and cover must remain in place for the duration of their stay. You must have started your cover from your first day in Australia - you'll often need a certificate to put with your visa application that proves you have this in place.
As with most private health insurance, there are certain service and treatment exclusions that OVHC will not cover, including:
A good way to find a health fund that provides OVHC insurance is to search online or visit a comparison site such as finder.com.au. You should compare the benefits offered by at least three different policies to ensure you are getting the best deal and read the product disclosure statement (PDS) carefully to make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions.
You must purchase OVHC before you can receive your TSS visa. Once you have found suitable cover, you will need to provide the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) with a letter from your chosen health fund or your employer in Australia confirming that you have met this requirement. They can provide this for you as soon as you sign up.
Some waiting periods will apply to your OVHC cover. These are periods of time you must serve before benefits will be payable on your policy and they normally include:
A pre-existing condition is any condition that you had symptoms of in the 6 months prior to your arrival in Australia or prior to your visa being granted (whichever occurred later).
For a 482 Visa, Visitors from countries which have a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia are exempt from the need for OVHC because they are eligible to receive subsidised health care treatment. This is called Medicare.
Australia has agreements in place with the following countries:
If you are visiting from any of these countries on a TSS visa, you should enrol for Medicare when you arrive in Australia.
However, RHCAs do not cover ambulance transportation, dental care, elective surgery, medical evacuation, private patient treatment in a private or public hospital or any treatment that is not immediately necessary. So visitors from RHCA countries might be wise to consider taking out OVHC as well.
When comparing OVHC policies from various insurance providers, it pays to keep the following in mind:
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