Frequently Asked Questions

Australia has a national health care system that provides access to health care for Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens or holders of permanent resident visas. The major part of the national health care system is called ‘Medicare’. Medicare provides high-quality health care which is both affordable and accessible to all Australians, often provided free of charge at the point of service.

Medicare covers areas of medical, hospital and pharmaceutical costs, but does not cover private hospital costs, dental, optical and similar services. Medicare does not provide cover for emergency ambulance assistance or for transport to hospital. It is very important that you have a good understanding of the Australian health care system so that you will be able to access the best and most effective treatment for you.
Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) is health insurance for international visitors that provides cover* for the costs of:
  • In-hospital medical treatment
  • Certain prescription medicines, dependent on level of cover
  • Emergency ambulance transport
  • Surgically implanted prostheses
  • Medical repatriation (only if authorised by Allianz Global Assistance)
  • Out-of-hospital medical treatment (Visitors Plus policy only)
*See the OVHC Policy Wording for terms and conditions, exclusions and limits that apply
Peace of mind
Hospital and medical treatment can be expensive. Australia has a public health insurance system, known as Medicare, and a public hospital system, however overseas visitors are generally not eligible for Medicare coverage or free treatment in public hospitals*. This means that overseas visitors who need hospital or medical treatment while they are in Australia will have to pay for these services, and the costs can potentially be significant – in most cases hospital treatment will cost more than $1,500 per day.

Visa requirement
If your visa is subject to visa condition 8501, you must maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance while you are in Australia. Your visa conditions can be checked on the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) website. Allianz Global Assistance’s OVHC meets all DIBP requirements and will satisfy Visa Condition 8501.

DIBP requires holders of student visas to have a particular type of health insurance product, known as Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). If you hold a student visa you should take out OSHC rather than OVHC. Information on Allianz Global Assistance’s OSHC product is available here. According to visa condition 8501, overseas visitors who do not maintain their OVHC are at risk of having their visa cancelled.

* Australia has reciprocal arrangements with some countries which allow citizens of those countries to access some aspects of Medicare and the public hospital system while they are in Australia. Information on Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCAs) is available on the Department of Human Services website. Eligibility under RHCA may affect the type of insurance you should hold while you are in Australia.
If visa condition 8501 applies to you, the Australian Government requires that you have continuous OVHC for the entire length of your stay in Australia.
You can choose to pay by regular fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, six-monthly or annual instalments via automatic payment (direct debit) from your chosen credit card or bank account.

You will continue to be a member and have continuous cover while you continue to pay your premiums.
Your Certificate of Insurance will show which policy you have selected. Your policy may be either:
  • Single – covering only the overseas visitor.
  • Dual family – covering the overseas visitor, and either one adult spouse or recognised de facto partner or one or more children or step-children under the age of 18 years who are not married.
  • Multi-family – covering the overseas visitor and more than one dependant, which can only include one adult spouse or recognised de facto partner and one or more dependent children.
View OVHC plans
Services which are not covered under your policy:
  • Services provided by physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, naturopaths or any other ancillary services.
  • Medications, drugs or other treatments not prescribed by a doctor and not included in the PBS.
  • Any costs associated with dental treatment, unless the services provided meet the requirements of the Medicare Benefits Schedule.
  • Optical charges.
  • The co-payment payable by you under Australian law or as a result of the provider charging in excess of the Medicare Benefits Schedule Fee.
  • Service fees charged by a doctor or hospital which are not included in the benefits covered under your policy.
General exclusions Benefits are not payable:
  • For services and treatment rendered as part of an assisted reproductive program, including but not limited to in-vitro fertilisation.
  • For bone marrow and organ transplants.
  • For treatment rendered outside of Australia, whether or not in connection with a course of study and including treatment necessary en route to or from Australia.
  • For treatment arranged in advance of the dependant’s or overseas visitor’s arrival in Australia.
  • For treatment rendered to a dependant or overseas visitor in the first 12 months, other than psychiatric, rehabilitative or palliative care, where the treatment is for a pre-existing condition.
  • For treatment rendered to a dependant or overseas visitor in the first 2 months where that treatment is psychiatric, rehabilitative or palliative care and is for a pre-existing condition.
  • For treatment rendered to a dependant or overseas visitor in the first 12 months, where the treatment is for a pregnancy-related condition.
  • For transportation of a dependant or overseas visitor into Australia in any circumstance, or for transportation out of Australia except in the circumstances and to the extent covered by our ‘Medical Repatriation Benefit’.
  • For services and treatment which are covered by compensation, damages or provisions of any kind.
  • For elective cosmetic surgery.
  • For the purposes of these exclusions, the start date for calculating the relevant period of 12 months or 2 months, and whether or not the condition is a pre-existing condition, will be determined in accordance with the ‘waiting periods’ section of the OVHC policy document.
There is a waiting period for pre-existing conditions. You cannot claim for costs arising during the applicable waiting period if such costs arise from a pre-existing condition or a pregnancy-related condition. The waiting period is calculated as 12 months (or, for psychiatric, rehabilitative or palliative care, 2 months) commencing from:
  • The date you or your dependant (as the case may be) arrived in Australia; or
  • The date your eligible visa was granted, whichever is the later date.
If you are switching to Allianz Global Assistance from a similar policy held with another insurer, and there has not been a gap in your coverage of more than 30 days, we will count the time you were covered under your previous policy towards any waiting period which applies to your coverage with us – see the section ‘Other Important Matters’ on page 12 of the OVHC policy document. If you have previously held OVHC or OSHC with us and:
  • You voluntarily terminated your policy and 30 days have since elapsed during which you did not hold health insurance; or
  • Your policy was lawfully cancelled by us, new waiting periods will commence upon commencement of any new policy you take out with us after that time.
A pre-existing condition is an ailment, illness or condition the signs or symptoms of which (in the opinion of a medical practitioner appointed by us) existed at any time in the period of 6 months ending on the relevant start date (determined in accordance with the above rules).

In forming this opinion, the medical practitioner must have regard to any information in relation to the ailment, illness or condition provided to that medical practitioner by the medical practitioner who treated the ailment, illness or condition. This includes an ailment, illness or condition that was present, but had not been diagnosed by a medical practitioner at the time of your arrival in Australia or the date your eligible visa was granted, whichever is the later date.
Your cover starts the day you arrive in Australia or the day your visa is granted (whichever is later) and ends on the expiry date of your visa, as long as you continue to pay your regular OVHC premium instalments.
Allianz Global Assistance OVHC has made special arrangements for our members with many medical providers to direct bill us for the covered amount of your bill. This means that you simply provide your valid OVHC membership card – so make sure you carry your valid card with you at all times.

Some medical providers may charge a ‘gap’ fee at the time of service, but the rest of the bill will be taken care of by Allianz Global Assistance OVHC. This means you do not need to make a claim. You can easily find your closest direct-billing medical provider here on the website using our Find a Doctor page.

Please note: there are no benefits payable for services provided by a direct-billing medical provider for OVHC Budget Visitors – Hospital Only policies. These benefits are only payable on OVHC Visitors Plus policies.
If a scheduled payment from your bank account or credit card fails, we will contact you about making other arrangements or may resweep your account. We will contact you by your preferred contact method (email or post, depending on what you have indicated) to notify which step will apply. If this payment isn’t rectified and your policy remains unpaid, you will be unable to claim and your OVHC policy will be automatically cancelled by our system.

You are responsible for making sure you maintain OVHC in accordance with the requirements of your visa. The Australian Government, through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, requires all holders of a temporary residency visa with condition 8501 to maintain adequate health insurance, such as OVHC, during your entire stay in Australia.

According to visa condition 8501, overseas visitors who do not maintain their OVHC are at risk of having their visa cancelled.
Your OVHC policy is continuous until you choose to cancel it. If you have set up automatic payments from your bank account or credit card, these payments will automatically continue until you cancel your policy or you request to stop the automatic payments. If you no longer require OVHC, simply notify us of your cancellation in writing as follows. If adequate health insurance IS a mandatory condition of your visa, fill out a Refund Form and email it to us on ovhc@buyovhc.com.au. You’ll need to supply your reason for cancelling and attach the relevant documentation as requested on the form. If health insurance IS NOT a mandatory condition of your visa, just email us on ovhc@allianz-assistance.com.au and tell us the date that you wish to cancel your policy from.

We understand how important it is to have someone welcome you when you arrive Australia for the first time, so we are offering a free Sim card on arrival and Airport Shuttle to CBD for all those who purchase their OVHC policy for 6 months with us

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