Overseas Visitor Health Insurance Comparison

Visitors from overseas that plan to work in Australia on temporary visas such as the subclass 457 visa must have health insurance under condition 8501. The policies below meet this Australian immigration overseas visitor requirement.

Compare overseas health insurance policies in two easy steps below.

overseas visitor health insurance comparison icon
457 Visa Health Cover Comparison Logos
457 Visa Health Cover Logos

  • Price (Monthly)
  • Cover Meets Government Visa Requirements
  • Public Hospital Accommodation
  • Private Hospital Accommodation
  • Doctors & Specialist Fees (In Hospital)
  • GP Visits (Not In Hospital)
  • Medical Repatriation Benefit
  • Pregnancy and Related Services
  • Medically Necessary Ambulance
  • Dental & Optical
    Extra’s Cover
  • Additional Policy Notes

hif overseas visitor health insurance comparison logo

Basic Working Visa Cover

  • Public Accommodation
    Shared Room Only

  • (Max $4,000)
  • 4% discount for paying annually
Visit HIF Overseas Visa Cover Website

IMAN overseas visitor health insurance comparison logo

Budget Cover

Visit IMAN Overseas Cover Website
  • Place Holder

Frank overseas visitor health insurance comparison Logo

Minimum Working  Visa Cover

Visit HIF Overseas Visa Cover Website

Australian Unity Overseas Visitor Health Cover Logo

Workers Cover Plus

  • (Agreement Hospitals)

  • (Max $20,000)
  • Private & public hospital available
Visit Australian Unity Overseas Health Insurance Website

BUPA Overseas Visitor Health Insurance Logo

Classic Visitors Cover

Visit BUPA Overseas Visitor Medical Insurance Website

This information is indicative and provided for general information only.
Please refer to the relevant policy brochure for full details including waiting period.

This policy is a good match for this health insurance item
This policy only covers some areas of this health insurance item
This policy does not offer this medical cover element

HIF Has The Cheapest Cheap Overseas Visitor Health Insurance (OVHC)

Singles looking to just meet their overseas visitor health insurance requirements should consider HIF Basic Working Visa Cover.

This cheapest overseas visitor health cover policy includes:

  • A monthly cost of $69 per month (4% lower for annual payment)
  • Meeting overseas visitor health cover requirements set by the Australian government
  • Cover for public hospital stays only (not private hospital)
  • Cover for shared room stays only (no private room options)
  • $500 excess per hospital admission
  • Medical repatriation up to $4,000
  • Urgent road trauma 100% cover

To keep the policy costs low for temporary overseas working visitors, this policy has a high excess, doesn’t include private hospital stays or private room stays. There is also a $1,000,000 medical annual limit and $4,000 repatriation limit. For those looking for budget cover but with private hospital options, Frank may be more for you.

Frank Has The Best Value Overseas Visitor Health Insurance Policy

While HIF is the cheapest, our comparison made on the 6th of February 2017 found that Frank has the best value overseas visitor health insurance policy based on:

  • A competitive private of $75 per month
  • Private hospital accommodation included (as well as public)
  • The option of private room accommodation
  • A $500 excess per year (not per admission) per person
  • Strong reviews with 235 reviews with an average of 90%

Frank is a ‘not for profit’ overseas visitor health fund like HIF, helping keep prices low. The option for private hospital stays (and private rooms) is ideal for those who are looking for premium facilities when sick or injured. The limit of $500 excess per year also provides a safety net if multiple hospital visits may be required in a calender year.


Overseas Visitor Health Cover Australia Explained

Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC) relates to health insurance for individuals, couples or families looking to move to Australia using a temporary working visa. The two most popular working visas in this category are the subclass 457 visa and the subclass 485 visa. There are many less know subclasses such as the 416 visa that also require adequate health insurance. When applying for these visas there are a number of requirements including proof that the applicant has ‘adequate health insurance’, otherwise known as condition 8501.

These insurance products are entirely different from private health insurance that Australian citizens get, and is specially designed to offer cover that meets specific DIBP guidelines. These niche policies are only provided by a few select health funds such as IMAN, BUPA and Medibank (see the overseas visitor health insurance comparison table above). When an applicant successfully applies online for one of these policies they will receive a confirmation e-mail which can be used as proof of Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC) and will be subsequently attached to one’s visa application forms.

Reciprocal Health Care Country Individuals

If an applicant comes from a country that has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia (such as the UK) the applicant may be eligible for Medicare. If you have Medicare (and a Medicare card) you have already satisfied your overseas visitor health insurance requirements, and it’s therefore not compulsory to acquire private health insurance. It is important to note that if you can only apply for Medicare when you are already residing within Australia, so if you are still currently offshore, you will still need to get overseas health insurance and prior to moving to Australia before you can apply for Medicare and receive medical benefits from the public healthcare system, which may take several weeks.

Like Australians with their own private health insurance, many overseas visitors who do qualify for Medicare opt to keep their overseas visitor health insurance. One key reason is that Medicare is not like the NHS and only provides very basic cover at public hospitals. Many procedures, especially elective ones, require waiting months or even years before receiving treatment, and getting treated as a private patient without any private health insurance will entail significant out-of-pocket expenses.

Tax Penalties For Not Having Overseas Visitor Health Cover

Another factor that leads many overseas visitors to keep their health insurance are the tax penalties for dropping cover that applies to anyone earning over $90k annually. This penalty is called the Medicare Levy Surcharge and ranges from 1.0% to 1.5% of an individual’s taxable income. This means that if an individual is earning $100k he/she will pay an extra $1k in tax. Considering that IMAN costs only $1,038 a year, this means that the person will practically break even their costs on top of getting better benefits than what Medicare and the Australian public healthcare system provides. You may only be exempt from the Medicare Levy Surcharge is you combine OVHC with reciprocal health cover (eg Medicare) and when you make your tax return ensure you mark that you have reciprocal health cover. This is one of the key reasons why the majority of Australians have private health insurance although the benefits that may differ by fund makes it worth completing an overseas visitor health insurance comparison both when you apply for your visa and when circumstances change.

Explaining this Overseas Visitor Health Insurance Comparison

The author of this website made the overseas visitor health insurance comparison table on the 06/02/2017 based on policy information he gained from the all the major health funds offering Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC). The comparison was made based on his interpretation of the best policy for individuals looking just to meet their overseas visitor health insurance requirements (price sensitive) while still wanting good value just in case they may need to make claims for medical needs while in Australia.

The author also factored in other elements such as reviews of customers on sites such as Productreview.com.au, as well as age and size of the fund, among other considerations. You can also view their 457 visa health insurance comparison table for policies specifically designed for the subclass 457 visa. Learn more about the differences in policy types on our guide.

A brief health insurance for 457 visa holder page has also been created to assist these individuals looking for a temporary working visa. Overseas visitor health cover is also applicable for the subclass 420 visa. You can read out guide on which health insurance requires a visa published in June 2016 here.

The information provided on the overseas visitor health insurance comparison section is for general purposes only and is only indicative to help users with their decision making process. Downloading each policy from each and every overseas visitor health fund and comparing different policies that meet your needs is still the best way to find the right health fund to join. Pricing, benefits, waiting periods and other factors can change over time (from the date this evaluation was made) so the latest policy documents may also be more accurate than the overseas visitor health insurance comparison data presented on this page. If you feel any information on this page or the site needs to be updated, please feel free to e-mail the author through the contact form and changes will be made promptly.