Visa 482 Health Insurance Requirements to Work in Australia

Published: January 10, 2019

If you’ve been successfully nominated for employment in Australia under a skilled visa, one of the first things you need to do is get adequate private health insurance.

This decision should not be taken lightly. Carefully consider the level of health insurance you need and make sure it's enough to fulfil the Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa requirements.

This article aims to help overseas people moving to Australia on a 482 TSS visa find health insurance so you can stay and work in Australia worry-free from medical bills.

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Do you need health cover to work in Australia?

Generally, yes when moving to Australia on a temporary work visa you’ll be asked to provide proof of sufficient private health insurance that covers you during your entire stay. If you’re from a country that does not have a reciprocal agreement with Australia, you will not be covered by Australia’s public health system, called Medicare, without which your medical bills could cost you thousands of dollars.

As an overseas visitor working in Australia, you are responsible for paying all your health bills, for example, ambulance services, hospital accommodation and treatments, dental and optical.

Temporary Skill Shortage visa replaces the 457 visa

In March 2018 the 457 visa was abolished and replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa, subclass 482. Both visas were classified as a temporary visa allowing you to live in Australia for up to 4 years while working for a sponsored employer.

The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa, subclass 457, allowed you to work in Australia when nominated by an employer to work in a specific occupation for which you could prove you held a relevant qualification even if you had no prior work experience.

The TSS visa 482, on the other hand, requires you to have at least 2 years of work experience in the nominated occupation or related field and will only be granted for full-time positions.

Important; visit the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website to review the complete list of requirements when applying for a TSS visa.

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What are the 482-visa health insurance requirements?

To be granted a 482 visa, you must meet the 8501 conditions of the mandatory health insurance requirement. All TSS visa holders are subject to condition 8501 which states that you must have adequate health insurance while you remain in Australia. If you cancel your health insurance after your TSS visa has been granted, you'll be in breach of the 8501, and your visa could be revoked.

You might be able to apply to Home Affairs for an exemption from the TSS health insurance visa requirements if you're from a country that has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia, for example, the UK, New Zealand, Ireland and the Netherlands. However, eligibility for exemption is assessed on a case by case basis.

Previously, on the 457 health insurance requirements, you had to disclose any medical conditions to your employer and could only be granted a visa if your employer signed an undertaking to meet the necessary costs.

With the TSS visa, you do not have to disclose your medical condition to your employer and can still be granted a visa, if the health requirements are waived because it does not pose an ‘undue cost' or ‘undue harm' to the Australian community as subject to health criterion 4007. The following factors are generally taken into consideration:

  • Pre-existing health insurance,
  • Your financial capacity, and
  • The ability of your relatives to provide you with the necessary care.

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What is the adequate level of cover for a TSS visa?

According to the Department of Home Affairs, you should get health insurance that provides benefits at least equivalent to:

1

Public hospital

The cost of in-hospital treatment equal to the state and territory in Australia where you’ll live that includes:

  • Patient care while in the hospital and any postoperative services,
  • Accommodation for day-only and overnight stays, and
  • Emergency department fees.
2

Surgically implanted prostheses

You’ll need a policy that pays a benefit of at least equal to 100% of the minimum benefit listed on the Prostheses list.

3

Pharmacy

Covers any Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS) listed drugs that might be prescribed as part of your health care and/or administered during a hospital stay.

4

Medical services

Pays a benefit equal to at least 100% of the minimum benefit listed on the Medical Benefit Scheme (MBS) fee.

5

Ambulance services

100% of the cost of emergency ambulance services, including inter-hospital transport for emergency treatment.

How much is health insurance for a 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa?

The cost of private health insurance for a TSS visa (previously 475 visa health insurance) depends on various factors, including the state you'll live, the health fund you choose, the type of policy you want (Hospital only or Combined Hospital and Extras cover) and the level of protection you're looking for (Basic, Medium or Top).

For overseas TSS visa holders looking for health insurance, you’ll need at least a Hospital policy that meets all the requirement listed above; in-hospital treatments and accommodation, emergency ambulance services, surgically implanted prostheses, 100% of the minimum benefit for PBS and MBS fees.

Some of the health funds offering Hospital cover for a 482 visa

Health fund Policy name Monthly premium
HIFHIF Value Plus Visitor Cover $106.59
HCFHCF Value Plus Visitor Cover $106.59
NibNIB Value Plus Visitor Cover $106.59
MedibankMedibank Working Visa Basic Insurance $108.00
BUPABupa Essential Visitors Cover $109.62
CBHSHealth.com.au Essential Workers Cover $110.00
Australian UnityAustralian Unity Mis Workers Cover $122.02
Source: Company websites

The above premiums are based on a single adult living in NSW buying a Mid Hospital insurance policy and do not include any Excess, Lifetime Health Cover loading or Rebate (December 2018).

Before choosing a health fund to buy visitors work health insurance from, you might want to compare policies from some of the major health funds available in Australia.

How to meet the overseas TSS health insurance requirements

Various health funds offer health insurance policies specifically created to help you reach the 8501 health cover requirements. To find such a policy, you can:

  1. Visit a health comparison website,
  2. Request quotes from health funds offering health insurance for overseas workers,
  3. Compare 457 health insurance policies (now replaced by subclass 482), and
  4. Select a plan best suited to your requirements and budget.

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Ask an Expert?

6 Comments

  • Sabine Adigun |

    We lived for eleven years in the United Kingdom, before coming to Australia and had medical insurance there. Are we eligible for the reciprocal agreement? I have heard we are.

    • SPECIALIST
      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi Sabine.

      Yes, the United Kingdom is one of the countries that qualify for Australia’s reciprocal health care agreement, which generally entitles you to free treatment in a public hospital and Medicare benefits for general treatments received outside of the hospital. However, to be eligible you’ll need a valid British passport. If you’re not a British citizen, you’ll have to provide further documentation.

  • Unsure1 |

    Hi I am from the uk and my husband and I are here on a 482 visa. We have Medicare but are unsure if we also need private insurance to support our visa as we can’t seem to find a clear answer anywhere.

    • SPECIALIST
      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi.

      Under the reciprocal healthcare agreement, British citizens working/living in Australia have access to Medicare, giving you that extra level of coverage. However, as part of your visa requirements you might still need to purchase private health insurance (specifically Hospital insurance). You might be able to apply to Home Affairs for an exemption, but this is assessed on a case by case basis.

  • Rob |

    Hi,

    We are living in Australia on the 482 and are from the UK.

    We have qualified for Medicare due to the reciprocal health care agreement therefore do we need to get insurance?

    It seems odd to provide Medicare to us but then insist we have our own healthcare as well?

    Thanks,
    Rob

    • SPECIALIST
      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi Rob.

      You might be able to apply to Home Affairs for an exemption to private health insurance, but this assessed on a case by case basis. Private health cover is encouraged because Medicare only offers limited coverage and generally won’t pay for non-emergencies.

      Please call 1300 795 560 for assistance.