Do I need health insurance?
Overseas visitors are generally not covered under Australia’s public Medicare system for medical or hospital expenses. If you are a subclass visa 457 applicant, subclass visa 485 applicant, an overseas student or hold a visa with condition 8501, then you will be required to take out a specific level of health insurance that meets your visa requirements.
Australian Citizens and PR holders can use the public health system Medicare, to cover their medical and hospital expenses. Overseas visitors who hold temporary visas aren’t generally eligible to use Medicare unless their passport is from the following countries:
United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia, the Republic of Ireland and New Zealand
These countries have a Reciprocal Health Care Arrangement with Australia and can receive immediate necessary treatment in the public health system but aren’t otherwise entitled to benefits.
If you need to visit a doctor or stay in hospital while you are in Australia you could find yourself responsible for the full cost of medical treatment, which can be very expensive. Therefore it is advisable to take out health insurance cover if it is not a mandatory condition on your visa or not covered on your travel insurance policy.