How Overseas Visitors Health Cover Works

Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) is health insurance for international visitors wishing to travel or work in Australia.

OVHC helps you cover the cost of:

  • medical treatment when you’re in hospital
  • emergency ambulance transport
  • medical costs to get you back home
  • some prescription medicines (for Visitors Plus members only)
  • medical services provided by a doctor or specialist out of hospital (for Visitors Plus members only).

It also helps you to meet your visa health insurance condition 8501.

Why should overseas visitors purchase OVHC?

Paying for medical treatment in Australia can be expensive

Unless you’re an Australian or New Zealand citizen or an Australian permanent resident, you will not be eligible for Medicare (the public health insurance system for Australian residents). Without access to Medicare, paying for medical treatment can be expensive (up to $1500 per day).

When you’re away from home, it’s important to know that medical treatment is available and affordable if something happens to you.

Visa requirements

You’re required to maintain adequate health insurance for yourself and any family you bring with you while travelling on a visa that’s subject to visa condition 8501.

Whether you’re coming to Australia for a holiday, visiting family or friends, or visiting for work, we provide OVHC that meets visa condition 8501 which applies to visas 420, 457 and 485.

Find health cover by your visa type

Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with Australia

If the country you’re from has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia, you may be entitled to some subsidised health services with Medicare while you’re visiting Australia.

Even if your country has an agreement with Australia, your access to cover may be limited and you may still be required to have OVHC.

Find out if your country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia.

Who is covered under an OVHC policy?

The people covered under your OVHC will depend on the type of policy you have. Your Certificate of Insurance will clarify which policy you have purchased.

Your policy will be one of the following:

    • Single policy – covering only the overseas visitor
    • Dual family policy – covers the overseas visitor, and either:
      • One adult spouse or de facto partner
      • One or more children under the age of 18 years old
    • Multi family policy – covers the overseas visitor:
      • Only one adult spouse or de facto partner, and
      • One or more dependent children

How much does OVHC cost?

How much you pay for OVHC depends on the type of cover you need. We offer two types of OVHC:

  • Budget Visitors (hospital only)
  • Visitors Plus

You can choose to pay your OVHC instalments with us fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, six-monthly or annually via automatic payments from your chosen credit card or bank account.

Your automatic payments will continue until you cancel your policy or you ask us to stop the payments.

Ways to save time and money

Direct-billing medical providers

Using our network of providers makes it easier for you to claim when you visit a doctor.  All you need to do is provide your valid OVHC membership card on the day of your appointment and the medical provider will bill us directly for the covered amount of your bill.

With direct billing, the doctor makes your claim on your behalf.  

Make sure you select a doctor that specifies they can direct bill.

Confirm prices before your appointment

Always check with your doctor or hospital and ask if there are any extra costs you may need to pay. Some medical providers may charge above the MBS fee, leaving you with more out-of-pocket expenses.