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Health Insurance and the TSS (482) Visa

Written By Shannon Dutt
Thu, May 24, 2018
Shannon Dutt

The recent changes to Employer nominated skilled visas marked the introduction of the subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.

Interestingly, in the wake of tighter eligibility requirements and supporting evidence, the Department of Home Affairs have loosened their documentary requirements for Health Insurance evidence in temporary skilled visa applications.

Under the old subclass 457 visa scheme, applicants were, as part of the visa application, required to provide evidence of Health insurance coverage for their travel to Australia and their intended stay in Australia unless they met certain exemptions based on their passport country.

The new TSS Visa does not have this evidentiary requirement as part of the application. Applicants are not required to present evidence of health insurance coverage when making an application, but they must make adequate arrangements for health insurance for their intended stay in Australia.

In practice, this means that they don’t need this evidence to submit their visa application, but once in Australia, they will need to organise and pay for health cover for their stay or enrol in Medicare, if eligible.

What is the Adequate level of cover?

The Department of Home Affairs sets out an adequate level of cover in Attachment A of their standard template.

According to the Department, Attachment A health insurance benefits should be at least equivalent to:

  • public hospital treatment in an Australian State/Territory
  • surgically implanted prostheses
  • pharmacy – Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listed drugs
  • medical services, and
  • ambulance services, including inter-hospital transfers.

Reciprocal Health Care Agreements and Medicare access

Citizens of countries with a Reciprocal Healthcare arrangement with the Australian Government are able to enrol in Medicare in Australia. These countries currently include Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and the Republic of Ireland1. Medicare cover would meet the minimum requirements for adequate health insurance.

1Citizens of the Republic of Ireland aren’t able to receive a Medicare card but can access Medicare with their passport. No further documentation would be required to show adequate arrangements for cover.

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