Overseas Visitors Health Cover

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

Page last updated: 12 December 2017

If you have an enquiry regarding the conditions or requirements of your visa, please contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in the first instance.

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.

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

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