Overseas Visitors' Health Cover

This page provides information about health insurance eligibility for overseas visitors to Australia.

Page last updated: 30 October 2013

Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC)

Overseas visitors on temporary visas are not eligible for Medicare benefits unless they are from a country with which Australia has a 'Reciprocal Health Care Agreement'. Currently, Australia has agreements with the United Kingdom, Malta, Finland, Sweden, Italy, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Norway and Slovenia. If you are visiting Australia from these countries, you are generally covered for medically necessary treatment in a public hospital. If you are unsure of your Medicare eligibility status, you should check with your local Medicare office, which is listed in your local telephone book.

A number of private health insurers and general insurers provide health cover for overseas visitors. Benefits available, membership costs and eligibility can vary between insurers.

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.

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 policies.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is insurance to assist international students meet the costs of medical and hospital care which they may need while in Australia. OSHC also includes ambulance cover and limited pharmaceuticals.

Deed for the Provision of Overseas Student Health Cover

The deed for the provision of Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a legal document which sets out the conditions that registered Australian health funds must comply with in order to provide OSHC policies.

Deed for the Provision of Overseas Student Health Cover

For more information, see the OSHC Frequently Asked Questions page

If you would like to make an inquiry via email, please send to: Private Health