Health Insurance.

Medicare is the Australian public health care system for citizens and residents with permanent visa. Immigrants on a temporary visa are not eligible to access Medicare, unless their country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia - which is not the case for Switzerland (as per 1/4/2017). Hence Swiss with a temporary visa are not eligible to access Medicare. Their options are: 

  • international cover with swiss-based provider (e.g. KPT, CSS; see the helpful list of the Auslandschweizerorganisation)
  • overseas visitor cover with an Australian-based provider (e.g. BUPA, see the helpful FAQ-Site)
  • international cover with an international provider 


There are advantages and disadvantages with either solution so you have to check what suits you and your family best.


Positives about insurance with an Australian provider are:

  • bills in hospital and some surgerys are paid directly by insurance - no need to claim or pay beforehand
  • it does not matter how many children you have (i.e. same price for couple or family with four children)

Negatives are:

  • covers only Australia, meaning you need to have a travel insurance policy when holidaying outside of Australia


Be aware that waiting periods apply to your cover, especially for pre-existing conditions and pregnancy/childbirth (see for example BUPA).  


Note that when applying for Visas like a subclass 457 visa, you must provide evidence of having arranged an insurance policy that will cover you and your accompanying family members in Australia.