HCF Overseas Visitors Health Cover is a comprehensive health insurance product designed for visitors to Australia with the right to work. It also meets the minimum requirements for health insurance for 457 visa applicants as set by the Department of Immigration.

Who is covered?

International visitors with the right to work who are not entitled to full Medicare Australia benefits. This includes:

  • People on visas 457 (long stay business visas), 456 (short stay business visas), 417 (working holiday), 419 (visiting academic), 405 (investor retirement visa) and 422 (medical practitioner)
  • Visitors here for business purposes
  • Consulate members here for diplomatic purposes

It is not appropriate for people under student visas, tourist visas or retiree visas.

What is covered?

Download the full product details including benefits, waiting periods, restrictions and exclusions for Overseas Visitors Health Cover [PDF] for more details.


You will be covered for:

  • Accommodation in a HCF participating hospital (excluding private room accommodation for same day procedures and private hospital emergency room fees)
  • Theatre fees
  • Special care unit (eg. intensive care, coronary care, neo-natal intensive care)
  • 100% cover for government approved fully covered prostheses
  • State government emergency ambulance cover
  • Physiotherapy and pharmaceuticals related to your admission (excludes experimental and high cost non-PBS drugs)
  • Doctor’s charges for in-hospital treatment up to 100% of the MBS fee (see below).

Excess: You can choose a hospital excess of Nil, $500 or $1,000 to reduce your premium.
Please note: waiting periods apply for certain procedures.

Medical services (doctor’s charges)

You will receive benefits towards the costs of doctor’s charges in and out of hospital.

  • For medical services billed by doctors who treat you in hospital, HCF will pay 100% of the equivalent Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) fee.

    Department of Human Services Benefits Schedule

    Department of Human Services has a list of medical services for which benefits can be paid – these are listed in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). The MBS covers most medical procedures and treatments provided by a doctor. It applies to both in-hospital and out-of-hospital treatment. A schedule fee is associated with each treatment. Most doctors charge above the schedule fee leaving a gap which the patient must pay in some form.


  • Most doctors charge above this rate leaving members with a gap. If your treating doctor participates in HCF Medicover’s fully covered arrangement then you will not need to pay this gap.

    HCF Medicover

    HCF Medicover is a “no gap” arrangement, which eliminates out-of-pocket expenses for HCF members when used by participating doctors. HCF will pay all of a participating doctor’s charge so that HCF members are covered for the medical gap with that doctor for all in-hospital medical services. If a non-participating doctor charges up to or less than the Medicover rate, you will receive the equivalent of the Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) and a benefit up to the doctors charge.

    No medical benefits are paid for services for which there are no MBS item numbers. This includes services such as elective cosmetic surgery and surgery by an accredited podiatrist.



For medical services provided out of hospital, HCF will pay up to 85% of the MBS fee.

Extras Cover (optional)

Extras includes cover for services such as:

  • Dental treatment
  • Physiotherapy, chiropractic, osteopathy
  • Optical items
  • Therapies including natural therapies

You can choose to add selected extras to your Overseas Visitors Health Cover to get rebates on the above services. The rebate and limit on these services depends on the level of extras cover you select.

Why private health insurance and how does it work in Australia?

Like most countries, healthcare in Australia can be expensive, especially if you are a non-resident and not entitled to support from Medicare Australia.

Australia's health care system has two main components:

  • Medicare - provides eligible Australian residents with access to free treatment in public hospitals and free or subsidised treatment by doctors, specialists and other health professionals. Unless your country of residence has a reciprocal agreement

    Reciprocal agreements

    Australia has reciprocal agreements with the following countries. This means that visitors from these countries are entitled to access Medicare services in Australia for medically necessary situations. Please note that this does not include cover in a private hospital, choice of doctor or access to additional services such as dental, optical and physiotherapy. These services are only covered – partially or in full, with private health insurance.

    • Belgium
    • Finland
    • Italy
    • Malta
    • New Zealand
    • Norway
    • Slovenia
    • Sweden
    • The United Kingdom
    • The Republic of Ireland
    • The Netherlands
    For more information please CLICK HERE to visit the Department of Human Services website

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    with Australia, then you will not have access to these services.
  • Private health insurance - supplements Medicare for Australian residents and covers those who are not eligible for free or medically necessary treatment under Medicare such as non-residents on working visas.

To join, fill out the application form & mail it or drop it in to your nearest branch.