Extras Cover and 457 Visa Health Insurance

Extras cover compensates the out-of-pocket expenses of medical “extras” such as optical, dental and physiotherapy that Medicare may not cover.¬†Extras cover is often overlooked as part of the subclass 457 visa health insurance when applying for health policies. This could be because the visa holder deems extras cover to be unnecessary for their purposes, but more often than not Visa holders make the mistake of assuming that their health policy bundles basic and extras cover. This is not the case.

Most health insurance providers do not include extras in their policies for temporary Australian residents. In general, basic health insurance will cover a portion of the medical costs associated with unforeseen accidents and in-hospital treatments. This does not include any of the “extra” medical cost mentioned above.

It is important for 457 Visa holders to consider their basic health policy and their extras cover as two separate entities. Before selecting a health policy, it is necessary to evaluate your likely medical costs while in Australia. While it is impossible to predict all necessary medical services and their associated costs, it is important to be realistic about the costs you are likely to incur.

For example, if you have an injury that requires ongoing medical attention and physiotherapy, ensure that your policy includes significant coverage for these extras. Similarly, if you expect to need dental work (which can be costly and lead to further unexpected procedures), it is important that your policy provides you with adequate coverage to avoid excessive out-of-pocket expenses.

457 Visa holders are generally still encouraged to take out a health insurance policy that includes extras cover, even if they do not anticipate requiring any of “extra” medical services. There is an argument for this, as it provides assurance and security to the visa holder and their families if ¬†extras cover suddenly becomes necessary.

But it is also important to weigh the potential costs of extras cover that may go unused, against the benefit you may be paid on a one-off trip to the dentist or physio during your time in Australia. It’s possible the cost of taking out extras coverage with your health insurance policy will cost more than the amount you are likely to spend on out-of-pocket expenses from occasional medical services.

These are all factors that should be carefully considered when considering and comparing health insurance policies for 457 Visas.