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.

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.

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.

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:


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.

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.



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.


Medical services

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


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 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. Visit or a health fund that provides Visa 482 health insurance.
  • Overseas Visitors Health Cover for Australia

    Protect yourself from unexpected medical costs with OVHC. A tourist might want private health insurance because health care in Australia is very expensive.
  • Overseas Student Health Cover in Australia

    International students wanting to study in Australia need Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Find out if you’re eligible and where to purchase a policy.
  • 485 Visa Health Insurance

    We reveal how international graduates can find & compare the cheapest health insurance for 485 visa to extend your stay in Australia and start your career.

Thanks for reaching out!

We will review your comment and get back to you as soon as possible. If your inquiry is urgent, please use the phone number listed at the top of this page.

Talk to you soon.

Ask an Expert?


  • 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.

      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.

      Anneke Van Aswegen |


      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 |


    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?


      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.

  • Sandy |

    I require your guidance on the health insurance policy. I m on 482 TSS VISA and my organisation has a tie up with Bupa. They have two covers – essential with a waiting period and ultimate with no waiting period. I will be travelling to AU in next month and my family (my spouse and kid) will join me after 6 months. I initially thought to take the essential one and then when my family will arrive will upgrade to ultimate one but Bupa is saying during that upgrade there will be waiting period of 12 months which would be waived off if you join now in their ultimate plan. I was just confused which route to take now. Because ultimate is more expensive (almost double) than essential and to save cost I thought to take essential for me now and upgrade to ultimate after 6 months when my family would be here in Australia.

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi Sandy.

      Great question. Usually, when you upgrade to a policy with higher benefits, you only need to serve the waiting periods not already served. So, let’s say you had a 12 month waiting period on pre-existing conditions and had your policy for 6 months, then when you upgrade you usually only need to serve the remaining waiting period (6 months).

      Please reach out to Bupa about exactly which services will have a zero waiting period on Ultimate cover because according to there are still waiting periods attached to both Hospital and Extras cover under this plan. Ask them to provide you with a Private Health Information Statements (PHIS) of both Essential and Ultimate so you can compare.

  • Joejo |

    Hi, I have an existing health and death life policy in Singapore. Are we eligible for the reciprocal agreement?

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi Joejo.

      No, Singapore is not one of the countries that have a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia. If you’re considering visiting or working in Australia, you’ll generally need to get private health insurance as one of your visa requirements.

  • Anonomous |

    Hi, I am on 482 Visa. I am from India. I have medical insurance. Will this be valid as per requirements laid by 482 visas.

      Anneke Van Aswegen |


      For a Temporary Skill Shortage Visa, you’ll generally need private health insurance that covers you, for example, medically necessary treatments and transport. I’m not aware whether your specific medical insurance will be sufficient. It’s best to contact the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs and find out if your cover is adequate.

  • Paolo Carrozza |

    We are looking for health insurance for my partner (subsequent entrant under my 482 visa) and she will start working soon, so we would need for:
    – 482 visa compliant
    – a good level of coverage (beyond the visa requirements a bit of pharmaceutical, joints, transplants, pregnancy)
    – providing medicare surcharge levy (she doesn’t have a reciprocal agreement)

    Are you able to recommend anything covering the points above?
    Best regards,

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi Paolo.

      We do not currently compare visa health insurance policies. However, you can visit Allianz Global Assistance or get quotes directly for specific health funds, such as:
      – Bupa
      – HCF
      – Medibank
      – NIB
      – HBF
      – HIF
      – Australian Unity