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457 Visa Frequently Asked Questions

Temporary Business (Long Stay) Standard Business Sponsorship (Subclass 457) Health Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

Employee Eligibility - Health insurance requirements

Subclass 457 visa holders granted visas after 14 September 2009 will be required to maintain arrangements for health insurance.

Health insurance

From 14 September 2009, under visa Condition 8501, all new Subclass 457 visa holders are responsible for all health costs for themselves and their family. They will be required by law to maintain adequate insurance for these health costs for the length of their visa. Applicants for Subclass 457 visas will need to provide evidence that they have obtained adequate insurance before their visa can be granted. HICA can assist in sourcing an appropriate cover and obtaining a confirmation of cover certificate for the visa application while also ensuring the policy provides the level of cover required by the employee.  Contact HICA on 1300 732 757 or contact us online for further details.

For Subclass 457 visa holders, approved prior to 14 September 2009, the sponsor is still responsible for all medical or hospital expenses arising from treatment administered in a public hospital for the duration of the visa (other than expenses that are met by health insurance or reciprocal health care arrangements).

When do the changes to health insurance requirements come into effect?

The Migration Legislation Amendment (Worker Protection) Act 2008 comes into effect on 14 September 2009. It applies in relation to all Subclass 457 visas granted on or after 14 September 2009. For sponsors of Subclass 457 visa holders whose visa was granted prior to 14 September 2009, the sponsor retains ultimate responsibility for the cost of treatment in a public hospital. Sponsors who fail to meet the relevant costs may be subject to administrative sanctions.

Do I still need to provide for their health cover?

I currently employ a Subclass 457 visa holder whose visa was granted before 14 September 2009 Do I still need to provide for their health cover. Yes, for Subclass 457 visa holders whose visas were granted prior to 14 September 2009, sponsors retain ultimate responsibility for the cost of treatment administered in a public hospital for the validity of the visa. Additionally, if you take on new workers that already have a subclass 457 visa that was granted prior to 14 September 2009, the responsibility for the cost of treatment administered in a public hospital for those workers and their dependants transfers to you. Sponsors who fail to meet the relevant costs may be subject to administrative sanctions.

I currently pay health insurance for my Subclass 457 visa holders. Can I still do this?

Yes. This can be done with agreement with your 457 visa holders. Contact HICA on 1300 732 757 or contact us online for further details on suitable covers.

What happens if my employees that have to provide their own health insurance do not maintain it?

All visas granted on or after the 14 September 2009 are subject to Condition 8501 requiring visa holders to maintain adequate arrangements for health insurance for the duration of their stay in Australia. Departmental officers will use information provided by health insurers to monitor compliance with Condition 8501 and visa holders who fail to comply may have their visas cancelled.

What are reciprocal health care agreements (RHCA)?

Reciprocal health care agreements (RHCA) are agreements between the Australian Government and other governments to cover some medically necessary treatments for ill-health or injury which occurs while you are in Australia and requires treatment before you return home.
The Australian Government has RHCA with the governments of the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Malta, Italy, Belgium, the Republic of Ireland and New Zealand. New RHCA may be negotiated at any time. For the latest list of countries and further information on RHCA, including what Medicare services are available under RHCA, you should refer to the Medicare Australia website. http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/public/migrants/visitors/index.jsp

Which health insurance companies can provide the adequate cover?

There are a range of products available for 457 visa holders. While all suitable products will cover at least the minimum requirements, level of cover provided in addition will vary among providers from policy to policy. The department does not recommend a particular product.  Contact HICA on 1300 732 757 or contact us online for further information about private health insurers in Australia who provide Overseas Visitors Health Cover suitable for those on 457 visas.

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