OVHC is overlooked by many tourists who believe that they won’t get sick while in the country. This is a risk which could cause you some problems if you fall ill while still in Australia. Also, OVHC is gradually becoming a compulsory requirement for visitors from some countries to get a visa. There are many benefits of enrolling for an OVHC plan before getting on the plane headed for Australia. Also, there are a lot of disadvantages if you decide to visit Australia without an OVHC if it isn’t compulsory for your country.
What if you don’t buy visitor insurance?
The list of demerits for not having an OVHC is very, very long. Firstly, you may have to pay thousands of dollars for a treatment which could have cost you some change. Secondly, your visa application may be denied if you don’t have an OVHC where it is compulsory for visitors from your country. Getting an OVHC plan is a pre-requisite for entry into Australia for an ever-increasing number of nationals to visit Australia.Thirdly, if you have a pre-existing condition which is expensive to treat, you may run into trouble for not having an OVHC. This could cost you a huge sum to treat while in Australia. Every OVHC plan has set waiting period for pre existing conditions. Mostly it is one year so that any expenses incurred due to pre existing condition will only be covered if you have finished the waiting period. It also means that pre existing conditions are usually not covered during the waiting period.
The risks attached to having no insurance cover are too much to take as a tourist intending to visit Australia. Hence, try to get an insurance cover for you and your family if you intend to have maximum comfort during your stay. If you are entering Australia on student visa, you must purchase Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your study visa.
Benefits of OVHC
There are numerous benefits of OVHC, and some of the benefits are;
OVHC covers different types of medical conditions for specific level of coverage. You should read the product disclosure statement of the plan that you are purchasing. Please read it carefully as you will not get any time to change anything if you fall ill or hospitalised suddenly. It is ideal to purchase the cover which covers a visit to GP and also dentists as they are the most needed services for most of the tourists. There are some restrictions though which are unrelated to urgent medical needs of tourists. For instance, procedures such as cosmetic reconstruction and organ transplants are not covered under the overseas visitor health plan.
The OVHC plans in Australia are not cheap as compared to travel insurance from overseas countries. People usually are confused whether to purchase the travel insurance from your own country or should purchase proper OVHC from an Australian insurer. It is highly recommended that you purchase an OVHC from an authorised insurer in Australia. You can decide to pay weekly rates for your OVHC cover for short term, while long term plans are sometimes monthly, quarterly or annual payments. Getting a visitor health coverage plan help you to save your money. Also, most of visitor health insurance plans providers in Australia give hospital coverage in addition to GP and/or dentist.
OVHC plans for complete family cover is also available and is relatively cheap. This cover gives you the best medical services in Australia in the event any of your family members get ill during your stay. It is a wise decision to purchase a family OVHC plan if you intend travelling with your family to spend some time in Australia.
OVHC and extra fees
In some cases, OVHC plans do not entirely cover the medical cost of an insured tourist’s treatment, and an extra charge is required. This is known as the gap fee. This fee is the excess amount left when a tourist’s OVHC plan cannot cover his/her medical fees.
OVHC and pre-existing conditions
For visitors, pre-existing conditions are ailments whose signs (diagnosed or un diagnosed) have been evident in the tourist before purchasing the coverage plan. This is a sensitive aspect of the OVHC many visitors have to consider. Pre-existing conditions are also considered in the OVHC plan. Most health insurance providers do not accommodate medical care costs for visitors who have pre-existing conditions until their waiting period elapses. The waiting period to gain access to OVHC for pre-existing conditions is usually 12 months.
Companies that offer OVHC in Australia
Only few companies provide overseas visitor health coverage in Australia. These companies offer similar types of services (depending upon the plan) Here is a quick list of some of the OVHC providers currently operating in Australia; Please refer to table above to compare cheap OVHC in Australia.
- CBHS International Health
- HCF Overseas Visitor Health Cover
These providers have different plans tailor-made to help you in case you require medical assistance, and also have peculiar plans which make each special in their own right.
Cost for OVHC in Australia
Overseas visitors’ health care insurance providers normally charge weekly rates. Rates for OVHC coverage range from within 65 AUD – 120 AUD per week depending on the services. This covers the basic medical requirements of the tourist during his/her stay in the country. The long term plans cost more upfront and sometimes covers return visits. Every OVHC plan has set max allowance for various conditions and also specific waiting period.
It is necessary to purchase a health plan if you intend to visit Australia. OVHC plans help you in a situation where you need medical help at a fraction of the price if it had been that you have no cover.