408 Visa Health Insurance

Updated 05/02/2024

Are you visiting Australia on a subclass 408 visa? Our guide explains everything you need to know about finding affordable health cover.

408 Visa Health Insurance

408 visa health insurance

Key Points

  • If you’re heading to Australia for a professional engagement, (like a medical residency), you may be travelling on a 408 visa.

  • Travelling to Australia on a 408 visa means you might need to buy your own private health insurance.

  • Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) satisfies visa condition 8501, which is the requirement to hold adequate health insurance while you’re visiting Australia.

  • OVHC is usually paid on a monthly basis, as your visa lasts for up to one year.

The COVID-19 Pandemic event (subclass 408) visa is relatively new. It was introduced in April 2020 to tackle significant skills shortages amid the COVID-19 health crisis. Under these provisions, a 408 visa holder can be granted to overseas workers to work in Australia for up to one year.

What is the 408 visa?

Properly called The Subclass 408 Visa, this visa allows you to temporarily participate in various short-term activities in Australia, like contract work. There are ten streams under this visa, covering: 

  • events, 

  • COVID-19-related employment, 

  • special programs, 

  • religious work, 

  • academic research, 

  • sports, 

  • entertainment, 

  • yacht crewing, 

  • student exchange arrangements, 

  • local work for executives.

Compare OVHC Insurance

What is the 408 visa?

Properly called The Subclass 408 Visa, this visa allows you to temporarily participate in various short-term activities in Australia, like contract work. There are ten streams under this visa, covering: 

  • events, 

  • COVID-19-related employment, 

  • special programs, 

  • religious work, 

  • academic research, 

  • sports, 

  • entertainment, 

  • yacht crewing, 

  • student exchange arrangements, 

  • local work for executives.

Health Insurance Requirements for your 408 Visa Application:

Coming to Australia on a 408 visa means you’ll likely need your own private health insurance. This is because your 408 visa has Visa Condition 8501 attached to it.

What is Visa Condition 8501?

This visa condition mandates that applicants for specific visas must have a fundamental level of health insurance throughout their stay in Australia. Failure to obtain this required medical cover may result in your visa application being rejected. If your private health insurance policy lapses during your stay in Australia, your visa can be cancelled and you can be made to depart.

Which Health Insurance is Needed for the 408 Visa?

To be deemed ‘adequate health insurance,’ your OVHC policy should include the following 408 visa health insurance requirements:

  • Basic public hospital insurance for most services

  • Insurance for emergency ambulance transport

  • Cover for medications

  • Cover for the treatments currently included the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), and any other specified conditions unique to your health status.

Exclusions and Policy Comparisons:

While the majority of Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) policies meet the prerequisites of your visa conditions (and therefore they also meet the health insurance requirement of your visa application), not every OVHC covers your specific health needs and this is important too - especially if you’re at risk of developing certain health conditions, like asthma or diabetes.

It’s best to compare your options#. Exclusions such as cosmetic surgery, non-medically necessary procedures, and certain alternative therapies may affect your healthcare needs.

The Cost of Private Health Insurance for a 408 Visa:

The cost of your OVHC varies, depending on your chosen level of cover.

Any Hospital cover you take out as part of your OVHC must comply with the minimum requirements for your 408 visa. For example, it’s important to make sure the policy you buy includes ambulance cover as this is a requirement of your 408 visa.

Extras cover assists you with non-hospital treatments, such as dental appointments and physiotherapy consultations. This cover is also available with a wide range of options for you to choose from.

You can also have more than one person on your policy. For example, a Family OVHC policy covers you, as well as your spouse and children. If you’re travelling here alone, you’ll only need a Singles policy which can be significantly cheaper.

As a guide, the monthly OVHC premium for a single person working in NSW on a 408 Temporary Activity visa can range between $60-$200.

Are there waiting periods for OVHC with a 408 visa?

Waiting periods may apply before you can claim on your insurance for some services. Examples include:

  • 2 – 12 months for psychiatric treatments, rehabilitation, or palliative care (even for pre-existing conditions).

  • 12 months for pregnancy and birth-related treatments.

  • 12 months for all other pre-existing conditions.

  • 0-2 months for most other services.

Compare OVHC Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my travel insurance fulfil the health requirements for a 408 visa?

No, in most instances, the health cover included in a typical travel insurance policy isn’t sufficient to meet the criteria of your 408 visa. Check with your insurance provider to confirm whether your cover complies with the requirements of your 408 visa.

Are there additional costs, even with OVHC?

Yes, you may have additional out-of-pocket expenses for hospital stays, doctor visits, physiotherapy, and other eligible health services. The amount you pay out of pocket depends on your chosen health insurer, the level of cover you select, and the fees charged by your healthcare providers. Different OVHC policies offer varying amounts of reimbursement, and you might need to cover any remaining costs.

Does my private health insurance cover my expenses for returning home due to illness or injury?

Cover for repatriation expenses due to illness or injury depends on your specific insurance policy. Some policies provide an allowance ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 for repatriation, while others, (particularly cheaper providers), may not include this feature. 

It’s essential to compare OVHC policies# thoroughly to understand what’s covered - and what isn’t - before deciding on your policy and provider.

Compare OVHC Insurance

The article provides information on Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) in Australia. It emphasises the importance of having adequate health insurance coverage for the entire stay, especially for visa types subject to condition 8501.

The coverage starts and ends based on the Certificate of Insurance and is applicable until departure, visa cessation, policy cancellation, or the certificate's end date. Claim procedures involve filling out forms and submitting supporting documents.

Some policies may cover dental and optical expenses. OVHC can be purchased from various health insurers in Australia, with costs depending on visa type, duration, and the number of individuals covered.

The article advises understanding coverage limitations and recommends considering travel insurance for additional protection. The conclusion underscores the role of OVHC in providing financial security for medical emergencies during overseas travel to Australia, particularly for visitors without access to Medicare.

Sources:

Compare Club - Visitors Visa OVHC

Dept. Home Affairs - 408 Visa

visitor-visa.com.au Compare Club compares selected products from a panel of trusted insurers. We do not compare all products in the market.




Chris Stanley is the sales & operations manager of health insurance at Compare Club. With extensive experience and expertise, Chris is a trusted leader known for his deep understanding of health insurance markets, policies, and coverage options. As the sales & operations manager of health insurance, Chris leads a team of dedicated professionals committed to helping individuals and families make informed decisions about their health insurance needs.

author image

Chris Stanley

Sales & Operations Manager for Health Insurance