As of Sept 14, 2009 all 457 temporary business visa holders are required to have a minimum level of insurance that must remain up-to-date for the duration of your time spent in Australia.
Things to watch out for when getting your Australian health insurance.
1. Waiting periods: Some insurance policies impose 12 month waiting periods for pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition would be any health issues that happen before you arrive in Australia.
2. Exclusions & restrictions: Read through the policy carefully. Often not everything is covered in full and some things are not covered at all. Most insurers allow you add on extras, for a price of course.
3. Pharmacy coverage: Most policies are not very good when it comes to pharmacy coverage. Overseas Visitors Insurance Policies are often very limited and do not cover more high-cost drugs, or “name brand” drugs. For meds, like anti-depressants, usually name brand drugs or, knock on wood, chemotherapy, you will be paying full price out of pocket. For somethings, like chemotherapy this could mean $1,000s if not $10,000s.
4. Keep your insurance policy paid for and up-to-date.
If you miss any payments, your membership can be cancelled, often without you even being aware of it. If you have a 457 visa and this happens the you have fallen outside your visa requirements.
5. For bigger health treatments or procedures that you are able to plan ahead for, call your provider and ask about your coverage before hand. Always double check before you even make the appointment, if at all possible.
6. General treatment: This includes dentists, optometrists, physiotherapists, etc. are not usually covered in the basic Overseas Visitors Health Coverage Plans. Instead general treatments are often listed separately or as add-ons to hospital and medical expenses.
Note: If you do not have private health insurance and do not qualify for medicare you will not be denied emergency treatment in Australia but you will have to pay for it in full out of pocket. Best to play it safe and get at least basic coverage while in Australia.
Private Health Insurance Providers
Take a look at iSelect.com.au for private health insurance comparisons.
Medibank Private www.medibank.com.au/Visitors-Cover/About-Working-Visa-Cover.aspx
Often times the hiring company will have a deal with an insurance provider for cheaper monthly rates especially if the company has many 457 temporary business visa holders employed.
Proving to DIAC you have private health insurance
- A letter or certificate from insurance company. They often have one ready to send out once you have selected your policy.
- A letter from your employer indicating you and any dependents on your visa have private health insurance. The letter must state details of the provider and the policy.
If you do not arrange private health insurance your visa application will NOT be granted!
If you don’t comply with Condition 8501, the minimum health insurance coverage requirements, your visa will be cancelled!
Another item to keep in mind is if you apply for a permanent residency visa after living in Australia with a 457 visa, you will be asked to show proof of your private health insurance for the past 2 years.
Medicare Levy Exemption
Do you have a 457 visa and are not from a RHCA country, such as the USA? Do you want that Medicare Levy tax back? Click here to find out how to get it back.
All eligible taxpayers in Australia must pay the 1.5% Medicare Levy throughout the year.