Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Browse the list below for the most frequently asked questions and answers relating to Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC).  If you can’t find what you’re looking for, email us your question or call us on 1300 727 193.

How does the Australian health care system work?

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.

What is OVHC?

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

Why do overseas visitors need OVHC?

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.

How long do I need OVHC for?

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.

How can I pay for OVHC?

To become an OVHC member, visit the membership application page and follow the prompts to apply for OVHC membership.

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.

Who is covered under an OVHC policy?

Your Certificate of Insurance will show which policy you have selected. Your policy may be either:

  1. Single – covering only the overseas visitor.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 our OVHC plans

What does OVHC cover?

Allianz Global Assistance OVHC provides a contribution towards the cost of medical treatment for temporary residents in Australia, similar to that provided to Australians through Medicare.

Budget Visitors – Hospital Only Policy

In the event of medical treatment being required by you or any dependants covered under your policy and occurring during the period of cover, we will pay benefits for the following:

ServiceBenefit per service
In-hospital medical services
Medical services provided in hospital.100% of the Medicare Benefits Schedule Fee.*
Public hospital – admitted patient in shared ward, hospital same day services, accommodation, accident and emergency when leading to inpatient admission and post-operative services that are a continuation of care associated with an early discharge from hospital.The rate determined by state and territory health authorities for services charged to a patient who is not an Australian resident.
Includes Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listed drugs (including discharge medications) that form part of the episode of hospital care.For admission-related PBS listed drugs, the benefit is equal to the Australian Government’s PBS list price less the current PBS patient contribution.
Private hospital/registered day hospital facility.100% of the contracted charges for all insurable costs raised by one of our agreement hospitals with a minimum of shared ward accommodation.
Surgically implanted prostheses and other items included on the Federal Government’s prostheses list.100% of the minimum benefit as listed on the Federal Government’s prostheses list.
Ambulance services
When medically necessary for admission to hospital, or for emergency treatment or for inter-hospital transfer for clinical reasons.100% of the charge for transport by an ambulance provided by or under an arrangement with an approved ambulance service.
Medical repatriation benefit
Cover for your or your dependants’ repatriation to your home country as a result of a life-altering illness or injury, or in the unfortunate event of death, the repatriation of your or their mortal remains.100% of the costs authorised by Allianz Global Assistance up to a maximum amount of $5,000.

* Benefits payable as per the Medicare Benefits Schedule Fee.

You may incur out-of-pocket costs for hospital expenses.

Please refer to the Policy Document and Members Guide that applies to the OVHC cover type that you have purchased. These documents set out in more detail what is covered and what is not covered under your OVHC policy.

Visitors Plus Policy

ServiceBenefit
Out-of-hospital medical services
Medical services provided by most general practitioner services.Benefit amount as listed in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) – 100% of the MBS fee*.
All other medical services such as pathology and radiology (including specialists).Benefit amount as listed in the MBS – 85% of the MBS fee*.
In-hospital medical services
Medical services provided in hospital.100% of the MBS Fee.
Public hospital – admitted patient in shared ward, hospital same day services, accommodation, accident and emergency and post-operative services that are a continuation of care associated with an early discharge from hospital.The rate determined by state and territory health authorities for services charged to a patient who is not an Australian resident.
Includes Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listed drugs (including discharge medications) that form part of the episode of hospital care.For admission-related PBS listed drugs, the benefit is equal to the Australian Government’s PBS list price less the current PBS patient contribution.
Private hospital/registered day hospital facility.100% of the contracted charges for all insurable costs raised by one of our agreement hospitals with a minimum of shared ward accommodation.
Prescription medicines
For prescription medicines prescribed by your doctor.Excludes: medications, drugs or other treatments not prescribed by a doctor or not listed on the PBS.Prescription Medicines Benefit for expenses exceeding the equivalent of the current PBS patient contribution for general beneficiaries up to a:

  • Maximum benefit of $50 per prescribed item.
  • Maximum amount per calendar year for single cover of $300.
  • Maximum amount per calendar year for family cover of $600.

Each individual in a family has a limit equivalent to a single person as long as the family maximum benefit has not been used. Limits do not apply to admission-related PBS listed drugs.

Surgically implanted prostheses
Surgically implanted prostheses and other items included on the Federal Government’s prostheses list.100% of the minimum benefit as listed on the Federal Government’s prostheses list.
Ambulance services
When medically necessary for admission to hospital, or for emergency treatment or for inter-hospital transfer for clinical reasons.100% of the charge for transport by an ambulance provided by or under an arrangement with an approved ambulance service.
Medical repatriation benefit 
Cover for your or your dependants’ repatriation to your home country as a result of a life-altering illness or injury, or in the unfortunate event of death, the repatriation of your or their mortal remains.100% of the costs authorised by Allianz Global Assistance up to a maximum amount of $5,000.

* Benefits payable as per the Medicare Benefits Schedule Fee.

You may incur out-of-pocket costs for hospital expenses.

Please refer to the Policy Document and Members Guide that applies to the OVHC cover type that you have purchased. These documents set out in more detail what is covered and what is not covered under your OVHC policy.

What isn't covered?

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:

  1. For services and treatment rendered as part of an assisted reproductive program, including but not limited to in-vitro fertilisation.
  2. For bone marrow and organ transplants.
  3. 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.
  4. For treatment arranged in advance of the dependant’s or overseas visitor’s arrival in Australia.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. For treatment rendered to a dependant or overseas visitor in the first 12 months, where the treatment is for a pregnancy-related condition.
  8. 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’.
  9. For services and treatment which are covered by compensation, damages or provisions of any kind.
  10. 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.

Is there a waiting period?

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.

What is a pre-existing medical condition?

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.

When does my cover start and end?

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.

What is a direct-billing medical provider?

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.

What should I do if I need medical treatment?

OVHC 24-hour helpline: 1800 814 781

In the event of a medical or personal situation, we will assist you with:

  • 24-hour medical advice and assistance.
  • 24-hour referrals to a doctor for medical treatment.
  • Access to a solicitor for legal advice.
  • Access to an interpreting service.
  • Any messages which need to be passed to your family or friends in the event of an emergency.

In a medical emergency situation, call triple zero (000).

AGA Assistance Australia Pty Ltd trading as Allianz Global Assistance has been appointed by the underwriter to administer all assistance services. Please note that the provision of assistance services to you is not deemed to be acceptance of cover in circumstances where no cover is otherwise available to you under this policy.

General practitioners (benefits apply to Visitors Plus policies only)

If you are not in a medical emergency situation, the first point of contact is a general practitioner (GP), medical practitioner or local health/medical centre. You can access many services at your local health centre. Some of the services available are:

  • General medicine and simple diagnostic screenings.
  • Assessment and treatment of health problems and injuries.
  • First aid services as needed.
  • Women’s and men’s health.
  • Referrals to specialist services.

In most cases, it is necessary for you to make an appointment to see your doctor.

Accident and emergency treatment

Many hospitals have a 24-hour Accident and Emergency department. Accident and Emergency departments should only be accessed in the case of emergency situations. When you visit an accident and emergency department, a nurse will assess you and if your illness or injury is not deemed as an emergency, you may need to wait a long time to see a doctor.

Hospital treatment

If you have been admitted for emergency treatment, contact Allianz Global Assistance immediately on 1800 814 781. If you have been referred to hospital for a non-emergency admission, contact the claims department on 1300 727 193 prior to admission. You will need to provide Allianz Global Assistance with the details of your treatment and hospital stay. We will then be able to confirm your cover and assist you with making arrangements for payment to the hospital.

Public admission

Generally, OVHC covers the total cost of your stay and treatment as an in-patient in a shared ward of a public hospital. As a public patient, your doctors will be nominated by the hospital. After your hospital discharge your care will be carried out in either the outpatient clinic, by one of the hospital’s specialists in his/her private rooms or you will be referred to your local general practitioner.

Private admission

You can choose to be treated in a private hospital. Through our relationship with Peoplecare Health Limited we have agreements in place with most private hospitals in Australia. These hospitals (known as Agreement Hospitals) ensure that an agreed schedule of fees (including in-patient accommodation, theatre and special unit accommodation fees as appropriate) is charged by the hospital and paid by Allianz Global Assistance on a member’s behalf. You may incur out-of-pocket costs for private hospital expenses.

There are some private hospitals that are not Agreement Hospitals. In these cases, we may not cover the full cost of your hospitalisation. However, if you call us before you go into hospital we’ll be able to provide you with an estimate of your out-of-pocket expenses. Members who choose a non-agreement hospital may incur out-of-pocket expenses for hospital-related services.

How do I submit a claim?

By post

  1. Obtain a claim form from an Allianz Global Assistance OVHC member service point or download and print a form from our website.
  2. Complete the claim form in full. Please write clearly and sign the form, ensuring you have clearly written your OVHC policy number on the form.
  3. Attach your receipts to the claim form.
  4. Post the claim form, original tax invoices and receipts directly to Allianz Global Assistance.

Paid accounts

If you have paid your medical or hospital bill and a benefit is payable, your benefit will be reimbursed in Australian dollars by:

  1. Direct debit – into your nominated Australian bank account; or
  2. Bank cheque – sent to your postal address as nominated on your claim form. Please ensure your postal address is correct and up-to-date.

Unpaid accounts

If you have not paid your medical or hospital bill, any benefit payable will be paid to the nominated health care provider (e.g. doctor or hospital).

Important information

You are responsible for any ‘co-payment’ payable to a provider.

We will endeavour to assess your claim within 10 working days of receiving a completed claim form and all original documents. If we need additional information, a written request will be sent to you within 10 working days.

Where can I get assistance?

Online

You can find useful information and perform a range of tasks related to your OVHC policy right here on our website at ovhcallianzassistance.com.au

Over the phone

Or call 1300 727 193 and one of our friendly and helpful member service officers will be able to assist you.

What happens if my automatic payment fails?

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.

How can I cancel my policy?

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@allianz-assistance.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.

I'm leaving Australia and my OVHC hasn't expired. Can I get a refund?

You can apply in writing for a pro rata refund of premium for the unexpired portion of your policy if:

  • You paid your premium and did not come to Australia.
  • You paid your premium on the basis of an extended stay but the extension of authorised stay was not granted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
  • You have been granted permanent residence in Australia.
  • You can provide proof of other OVHC cover provided by another organisation which includes the period covered by the organisation.

Please note:

  • Refunds are calculated on a monthly pro rata basis, with a minimum refund of one month.
  • A minimum cover period of 3 months is payable if cover is cancelled whilst in Australia. Any amount that we retain on these grounds is treated as a fee for processing your refund.
  • There is no minimum cover period payable if cover is cancelled prior to arrival in Australia.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Email us your question or call us on 1300 727 193.


Make a Claim

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!