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Understanding the Waiting Period for Government-Approved OVHC and OSHC

Every applicant must have the appropriate overseas health insurance cover to be in Australia. If you are an overseas visitor, student, or worker, then there will be a condition on the visa. They are OVHC (overseas visitors health cover) and OSHC (overseas student health cover) plans. Now the question is what is the waiting period for both OSHC and OVHC so that you can have them before coming to Australia? There are a lot of candidates who are unsure about the waiting period and why it is important to have this before availing of any special services. Here we will discuss the waiting period for both OVHC and OSHC and important tips that can be helpful for you. 

Elucidating the OVHC and OSHC Australia Waiting Period

The very first thing and the main concern for major candidates is that what is the waiting period. Overseas health insurance companies have their own set of conditions for the policies to ensure the eligibility of the applicant for the visa. There are various procedures and treatments to check eligibility before claiming policies. These terms are considered as the waiting period. If you apply for OSHC or OVHC Australian policies then you will have some days before the arrival date and policy commencement date before you are considered eligible as per government guidelines and norms. 

When You Required Health Insurance Waiting Period

You need that in two cases:

  • If you are starting a new private insurance
  • If you are already having insurance cover but want to upgrade that to the next level 

What are the exemptions?

It is not valid when you wish to change your policy provider to the same or the lower cover level. After completion of that, you can’t reserve the waiting period. 

Why the Waiting Period Is Served?

A waiting period is there for OSHC and OVHC Australia. This waiting period is required to ensure that people will not take advantage of the policy. Some people take the policy when required and save them from paying premiums but this waiting period will ensure they will avail the policy benefits anytime all year. Be sure you are aware of the same before making any claims. Some of the important ones are explained

Health Insurance

There are two types of health insurance waiting periods and they are extra cover waiting periods and hospital waiting periods.

Extra Cover Waiting Period

This can vary according to the service provider and the level of coverage. It can be 6 months for the contact lens and in the case of hearing aids it reaches to 12 months. In the case of a psychiatric condition, the waiting period is 2 months, and, in some conditions, there is no waiting period. Check for the personalized condition and policy.  

Hospital Waiting Period

For both OSHC and OVHC, there’s a hospital waiting period. With the condition, the applicant has to wait before making any medical claims in Australia. It generally starts from the day you come to Australia but varies according to the international health insurance policy. With OSHC, the hospital waiting period can be two months, and with OVHC it increases to six months. If you are a special case, then can have some exceptions. For pregnancy care and with special medical conditions, it can be for 12 months. Be sure you have checked for that carefully.

Pre-Existing Conditions Waiting Period

Possibly you or your doctor are not aware of the condition, but still, it will be considered a pre-existing condition. Reason, you hadn’t visited the hospital or checked yourself before changing your policy to the higher one. The risk factors are not considered as the pre-existing conditions. Taking a new policy, then having to wait for 12 months to get that changed to a higher level of cover. You can still avail of the benefits but with the lower ones associated with the earlier policy or can check with the insurance to seek benefits. 

Avoiding Health Insurance Waiting Period

To seek pregnancy benefits, you can upgrade the existing one or can also seek a new one to ensure coverage for hospital costs. There are child care benefits available and you can go through the list by the service providers in that case. In some special cases, the waiting period can be waived offer. So, meet with your service provider and try to get the best deal possible. 


No matter what the conditions or choice professionals can offer you the right guidance, Migration Doctors are MARA registered and can help you choose between the OSHC and OVHC insurance providers. We offer you guidance and professional plans so that you will not end up paying extra. We are your personal advisors and migration agents help you deal with all possible information required to enjoy an Australian visa and its associated benefits. 

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