There are a lot of terms thrown around in both the health insurance sector, and certainly in the Australian visa departments. This is very true of the terms “overseas visitor health cover”, and “overseas visitors health insurance.”

You of course want to be able to understand things. If you are looking at visitor health insurance to meet 457 visa work requirements, then you will certainly want to make sure all the ‘i’s are dotted and the ‘t’s crossed. Luckily, this is not that difficult a question to answer.

Two terms that mean similar things

These terms mean the same thing, in a way. Overseas visitor health cover is overseas visitor health insurance, and overseas visitor health insurance includes overseas visitor health cover. Clear? Well, maybe not.

To explain, overseas visitor health insurance refers to all private health insurance that an overseas visitor can take out. It is a general term that just describes the whole concept. It is, in a way, a general term. So when you are told by Australian immigration that you need to have a basic amount of overseas visitor health insurance, they are speaking in general terms that you need insurance.

However, then there is overseas visitor health cover. This is more specific term that still describes health insurance. The difference is in the term “cover”. This refers to what you are covered for, the specifics. You will note that when you look at insurance companies policies they refer to them as “cover”, rather than insurance. This is because it is a specific bundle of things that you are covered for.

How should you feel about this?

Maybe a little bored? But all in all, this should not be a big concern to you. In practice, you can usually just ignore the difference between the two. They are largely interchangeable – for your needs at least. There is no need to get bogged down in the terms when it comes to this language.

What is important?

The important thing when getting overseas visitor health insurance is making sure that you are getting the cover that you require. If this is to make sure that you meet the 457 visa requirements (or that of any other work or student visa), you need to ensure that the health cover you receive meets those requirements.

The requirements

For a fuller understanding of the 457 work visa requirements, you can learn about this here. For the most part though, most insurance providers will openly state whether they meet the 457 visa requirements (or for whichever visa you need to get). This site also discusses and reviews each provider and these policies so that you know that they will be appropriate for your visa requirements.

Other reasons

However, though you may be taking on overseas visitor health insurance to meet your 457 visa work requirements, you should consider keeping it. Many people qualify for Medicare once they arrive in Australia, due to reciprocal policies with a number of nations. So you may be thinking about dumping your overseas visitor health insurance as soon as you get there.

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There are a couple of reasons why you should consider keeping it though. For one, you get better medical care. You get many perks with overseas visitor health insurance, like reduced waiting times for certain services, and with possible extras on your policy, this means you can get things like dentist cover – something you will not be covered for under Medicare.

You will also may have to pay a Medicare surcharge if you do not have private health insurance. This is an extra tax (basically) to top up the Medicare fund. If you have to pay this, you may well find that it costs you more to simply use Medicare, but without any perks.

Compare policies

The most important thing you can do is to compare policies. Not simply because that is what this site is setup to do, but to make sure that you get the best deal that you can. So shop around, don’t worry about the terms too much, and just get the best deal for you that you can – as long as it has the stamp that it meets the requirements that you need.