OSHCstudents – Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) is a form of health insurance which is designed for visitors to Australia who do not have access to Australia’s public Medicare system for medical or hospital expenses. OVHC insures against potential expenses you may incur if you require medical or hospital treatment.
In some cases, it may be a condition of your visa to hold a form of OVHC – for example, if you are working visa 482 or 485 applicant or an overseas student.
What does OVHC Cover?
Every OVHC policy will differ in costs, eligibility and benefits. However, most policies should cover you for medically-required hospital admissions and a portion of doctor’s fees.
In addition to cover for hospital and medical expenses, you can also purchase General Treatment cover. General Treatment cover pays benefits towards the services of health care providers in private practice such as dentists, optometrists and physiotherapists. Insurance can cover part of these costs, though you would still need to cover part of the fees yourself.
Lifetime Health Cover and the private health insurance rebate do not apply to overseas visitors’ health cover. Goods and Services Tax (GST) is applied to the cost of overseas visitors’ health cover purchases.
What may not be covered?
Take care when you are purchasing cover as some plans will have lower benefits or no benefits for certain types of treatment, and waiting periods can vary – some policies may permanently exclude cover for pre-existing illnesses, meaning that such illnesses can never be covered. See the Tips on health insurance for visitors for further information about what you should look for when purchasing cover.
Most overseas visitors’ health cover products have limited cover for pharmaceuticals. Overseas visitors may face significant out-of-pocket costs if they need treatment with pharmaceuticals, particularly cancer treatment.
Travellers entering Australia may bring in medicines and medical devices for immediate use and to import small quantities for personal use. For more information see the Therapeutic Goods Administration website – Entering Australia and Personal Importation Scheme.
Where can I purchase OVHC?
You can purchase cover for visitors to Australia from Annalink. On our website, you can quickly get a quote and compare the OVHC from 4 Australian Government-approved providers, which are Allianz, Bupa, Medibank and Iman.
Remember, if you are on a visa with specific health insurance conditions, you need to purchase the type and level of health insurance specified by your visa. But don’t worry too much. Our team will help you find a suitable cover which meets your visa requirements.
You may also want to consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are in Australia for a short stay. Travel insurance may cover you for items that are not covered on visitors’ cover such as loss of travel goods and repatriation in a medical emergency. Travel insurance should be purchased in your country of origin before you depart for overseas.
OSHCstudents (source: Privatehealth)