Overseas Visitors Health Cover
Overseas Visitors Health Cover, or OVHC, is a health insurance type that foreign visitors in Australia can purchase. OVHC helps pay for any covered medical expenses that you may need to spend during your stay.
Why Would You Need OVHC?
OVHC may seem like an unnecessary expense for some. However, there are many excellent reasons (and even a requirement for some) why you should consider getting one. For example:
- Visa requirements: OVHC is required for some types of visas to be approved. Examples of these visas include the following:
- For students: Foreigners studying in Australia are required to get coverage known as OSHC (Overseas Students Health Cover). This is quite similar to OVHC with the obvious difference of being tailored for students.
- For workers and visitors: OVHC is required for some working visas, such as 482, 485, 489, and those under condition 8501. Those visiting for temporary work (400) or working holidays (417) are not required to get OVHC. However, these can still be quite useful.
- Specific health requirements: Do you have any medical conditions that have specific needs? If so, then OVHC is a wise purchase whether or not your visa requires you to do so. This can save you a lot of money on medical expenses should you need to visit a hospital.
- Just to be safe: It always helps to be safe and prepared for any scenario. This is your health that we’re talking about — don’t take any risks. Purchasing OVHC even if you don’t need it prepares you for the unthinkable.
OVHC Coverage and Extras
Like other hospital covers, OVHC also has different levels that have different ranges of services. The most common ones include:
- Budget/Basic: Most budget or basic covers offer common services that you are likely to encounter. These include hospitalisations, maternity, rehabilitation, and ambulance access. Note that offers vary from one provider to another.
- Mid-Level: Mid-level coverage usually includes general practitioner (GP) and specialist visits. Of course, all the services included in the budget or basic covers are included.
- Top-Level: Top-level coverage does all the things that budget, basic, and mid-level covers do, but with a higher cap. In addition to this, some providers will include additional services to make the coverage more worth it. Examples of additional services include medical devices, psychiatric services, therapies, dental, optical, and others.
Extras covers, on the other hand, are out-of-hospital services that aim to improve your quality of life. Many insurance companies will allow you to purchase an extras cover on top of your OVHC coverage. You can also get extras from other companies than where you get your OVHC from. Usual services included in extras covers are the following:
- Medical devices
Tips to Maximise Your OVHC
Finally, here are some tips to make the most out of your OVHC:
- Waiting periods: Many policies have a waiting period so be sure to check before you purchase OVHC. For example, pre-existing medical conditions have a 1-year waiting period before they’re covered by insurance. Some pre-existing medical conditions, on the other hand, will not be covered by OVHC.
- Inclusions, restrictions, and exclusions: Like any other health insurance, OVHC has a list of inclusions, restrictions, and exclusions. These depend on your cover level so be sure to recheck these lists before you decide.
- Travel insurance: Consider getting travel insurance for shorter stays in the country. These may sometimes have provisions that are not included in a normal OVHC. Lost items, for example, can sometimes be reimbursed if you have travel insurance.
- Track your policy: Your insurance isn’t a pay-and-forget scheme. Be sure to always track your policy’s status and keep all payments up-to-date.
Compare Providers That Offer OVHC
Some insurance providers offer OVHC along with other coverage for Australian residents while others specialise in OVHC itself. Are you looking to purchase? A quick online search will yield a lot of results but the easiest method is through a comparison site. A comparison site can easily allow you to check offers from different companies based on prices and features.
Makes Cents is an excellent choice for this. Consider all offers before you decide.