General Health Insurance Cover

Health insurance may or may not be required in order for foreign nationals trying to enter the country. This depends on several factors, like nationality and visa-type, in order to prove that you have sufficient health cover for your stay.

Some nationalities are exempt due to agreements between countries, which provides them with access to Medicare, the Australian public health care system, although access may be limited and may not apply to short term visits. These countries are:

  • United Kingdom
  • Sweden
  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Slovenia
  • Ireland
  • Norway
  • New Zealand

If you’re not eligible for Medicare, you will be financially liable and will have to pay as a private patient for any hospital or emergency treatment. Any unpaid health care debts will affect future applications for getting a Visa.

There are 3 main types of Australian visas:

  • Student: the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
  • Working: Working visas vary and most require health insurance
  • Visitor: most visitor visas don’t require medical insurance

Benefits, membership costs and eligibility can vary greatly between funds and insurance policies. So it’s important to make sure the cover you select is suitable for your needs. You should get cover that at the very least provides:

The public hospital, including hospital accommodation and costs, emergency department fees, and admitted patient care and postoperative services.

  • Surgery
  • Medication
  • Medical services
  • Ambulance services

When selecting which health insurance for your travels, you’ll have many options, from either your home country or your destination. There are benefits to both choices: if you organize it in your home country, you will have more control, but getting cover within the country of destination is a faster process with more efficient cover.