Anyone visiting a foreign country should always have travel insurance since medical treatment services not at home can be expensive. Australia, however, is slightly different in that respect, because it provides Overseas Visitors Cover to people staying in the country for a period of time on select visas.
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What is Overseas Visitors Cover?
Overseas Visitors Cover is private health insurance available to visitors who travel on any of the following visas: 400, 417, 457, 462, 470, 476, 485, 600, 601, or 651. A low-cost premium will allow these visitors to have access to a host of healthcare benefits that they would otherwise have to pay for, such as emergency ambulance cover, for example.
While some visas require Overseas Visitors Cover, other types of visas - in certain cases – will also require this coverage as per the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection. In addition, Australia has mutual healthcare agreements with the countries listed below:
- New Zealand
- Republic of Ireland
- United Kingdom
When visitors from these countries are traveling to Australia, they can take advantage of free Medicare benefits under certain conditions without requiring Overseas Visitors Cover.
Services available under Overseas Visitors Cover
Similar to other forms of private health insurance available, the range of services available under Overseas Visitors Cover will depend on the selected level of cover.
Minimum cover typically comprises of emergency ambulance services, together with hospital stays and some in-hospital procedures. More detailed plans may include access to specialists, doctors, and some out-of-hospital services, such as:
- Prescription medicines
- Chinese herbal medicine
When using Overseas Visitors Cover, visitors should know that most of their expenses are covered based on the Medicare Benefit Schedule, and they might still encounter additional and out-of-pocket expenses.
What other limits apply?
Overseas Visitors Cover offered by insurers all impose varying restrictions or limits to the cover provided. Prior to buying any cover, visitors should be aware of these limitations to prevent any needless – and potentially costly – surprises.
Conditions to look out for include:
- Age limits – Based on the insurer, visitors under the age of 70 are entitled to Overseas Visitors Cover
- Waiting periods – A waiting period is common among most insurers, during which time medical claims cannot be submitted; this is beside the regular waiting periods for specific treatments. It is mandatory to purchase the cover 14 days in advance, or within a week’s arrival to Australia.
- Pre-existing conditions – Certain pre-existing conditions may only be partially covered or not at all.
Whether individuals are traveling to Australia to study, work, or for a brief stay, Overseas Visitors Health Insurance might be necessary or it could provide additional benefits when compared to standard travel insurance. Customers can visit iSelect to make a simple comparison of available Overseas Visitors Cover that comprises of cost, requirements, and exclusions.
As Australia’s Life Admin Store™, iSelect helps customers take care of some of life’s most important purchase decisions. They are proud of the service they provide to the millions of Australians who seek expert advice each year. With plenty of partners and hundreds of policies, plans and products, iSelect gives customers the confidence to make the right call on the things that matter most.
Their dedicated departments cover all of life’s essentials, from choosing the right health insurance, life insurance, obtaining a car insurance quote to a home loan comparison. iSelect can help customers with electricity providers, broadband connections, and even take care of travel insurance.
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