What Is The Right 457 Visa Health Insurance Level?

A regular question that is asked on this site is what level of cover is best suited for my family and should I upgrade or downgrade my existing cover?

457 Visa Health Insurance Requirements

Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Australian Government) have what appears to be very clear 457 visa requirements of which one is that you must hold adequate health insurance for both yourself and other family members on your a visa application. This doesn’t actually mean you must have health insurance if you come from a country that has a reciprocal health care agreement such as the UK. Residents from these countries can apply for a medicare card once they arrive in Australia. Once they receive this they have met the ‘health insurance requirement’ and can stop their 457 visa health insurance.   There are similar arrangements with residents from Ireland although these individuals cannot receive a medicare card.

Family 457 Visa Health Insurance

So Should I Stop My 457 Health Insurance?

Most worldwide countries do not have a reciprocal health care agreement so its critical that residents from these countries maintain their health insurance for the whole duration of their stay. If you do come from one of these countries its important to understand what medicare entitles you. Most experts would highlight that the Medicare scheme has a lot less cover the the NHS and some other government programs. Based on this fact, approximately 50% of Australians have health insurance with hospital cover. Having health insurance can at times cover the gap between what medicare will pay for and what a doctor/hospital will actually charge. Medicare also has long waiting list for non-emergency procedures (eg knee reconstructions) which private health insurance can avoid. Its also important to understand there are tax benefits in certain circumstances of having private health insurance. In Australia, if you earn above a certain level a medicare surcharge is charged (taxed) and having health insurance can be cheaper then paying this tax.

457 Health Insurance For Families

So I’m Going To Keep My Health Insurance But What Level Is Right For Me?

When it comes to 457 visa cover there is a general rule. Lower based cover is hospital only whereas top level includes extra’s. If your looking to make regular claims on dental, optical or physio, then a top level cover with extra’s may be worth considering. The most basic cover often will cover a family when a member has an emergency but may not cover something as basic as seeing a GP. Its therefore worth trying to work out what requirements you will have while in Australia. A very simple order of cover based on your requirements is in the dot points below:

  • Emergency hospital cover
  • Seeing a GP
  • Hospital Cover for some non-emergency procedures (waiting times apply)
  • Extra’s Cover for elements such as dental and optical
  • Hospital cover for pregnancy

The higher up on the dot points above, the higher level you should consider when it comes to cover.