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COVID-⁠19 (coronavirus) and your cover

To help you with questions you may have about COVID-19 and your health cover, we’ve put together these frequently asked questions.

For more information about your cover, you can log in online or check your nib App. If you'd prefer to speak to someone, please head to our Contact page. For government and World Health Organisation resources about the Coronavirus, please see our Useful links.

Australian resident FAQs

International student FAQs

International workers FAQs

Australian Residents

The following FAQs apply to Australian residents who have nib health cover. For more information, call us on 13 16 42.

How are members being supported during COVID-19?

To help members impacted by COVID-19, we introduced a more than $45 million support package in 2020 that included:

  • A six-month postponement of the 2020 premium increase 

  • Flexibility for members choosing to suspend their policy  

  • A one-off premium credit for members on JobKeeper or JobSeeker    

  • A frontline healthcare worker rebate to support their health and wellbeing.

These elements of the support package have now ended, however some elements of the COVID-19 package are being extended, including telehealth services, coronavirus-related hospital treatment and psychology Extras benefits.

To support the health and wellbeing of communities throughout Australia and New Zealand during COVID-19, we've also donated $1.5 million to charitable and clinical initiatives together with nib foundation.

Find out more about how we're supporting our members and community through COVID-19.

Does my health insurance cover COVID-19?

To support our members, we've temporarily expanded coverage for chest, lung, kidney or other treatment related to COVID-19 across all levels of Hospital cover at no additional cost until 31 December 2021. This applies to Basic and Bronze Hospital covers where these treatments are currently excluded. You'll just need to have served the standard two-month waiting period before requiring treatment.

Along with other health insurers across Australia, any treatment for COVID-19 as an outpatient that is covered by Medicare will not be covered by nib.

Can I access additional mental health support?

To support the mental health of our members, we’ve temporarily expanded cover for psychology to eligible members until 31 December 2021. For more information, visit Mental health support through COVID-19.

What if I need to suspend my policy? 

For information about suspending your policy, visit our Suspension page.

Can I claim on telehealth consultations?

The telehealth services that we introduced during the pandemic to help members access a range of Extras services are here to stay. For more information, visit Telehealth and your cover.

Am I covered for pathology tests for COVID-19?

Health insurers are unable to pay for pathology tests in an out-patient setting as these are covered by Medicare. It's best to check with Medicare to determine what pathology tests are covered and if you may experience an out of pocket cost.

If you have Hospital cover that provides cover for your treatment, have served your waiting periods (including waiting periods for any Pre-Existing Conditions) and are admitted to hospital as an inpatient, , your pathology tests will be covered up to the Medicare Benefits Schedule Fee.

Does my health insurance cover the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Australian Department of Health announced the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided at no cost to all Medicare-eligible Australians, permanent residents and temporary visa holders who are aged 16 years and older. You will not need to use your private health insurance to cover the cost of the vaccine.

For more information relating to the COVID-19 vaccine, including the Australian Government’s roll-out strategy and eligibility criteria, visit health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines

Visit our articles Your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered and The 7 biggest COVID-19 vaccine myths on The Check Up for more expert advice on the COVID-19 vaccine.

Am I covered if I have a reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine?

If you have an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine that requires a hospital admission, your coverage will be in line with your level of health cover and the clinical category. For example,  shortness of breath requires a cover that includes ‘Lung’ and clots or thrombosis require a cover that includes ‘Blood’. To check your cover, log in online or use our nib App. If you'd prefer to speak to someone, head to our Contact page. Please note that we’re unable to pay for outpatient services, such as GP or specialist visits, as they’re covered by Medicare.

Will COVID-19 be considered a pre-existing condition?

A Pre-Existing Condition (PEC) is an ailment, illness, or condition where, in the view of nib’s fund appointed Medical Practitioner, signs or symptoms relating to that condition existed during the 6 months prior to joining private Hospital cover, or upgrading to a higher level of private Hospital cover. Any future claims for complications arising from COVID-19 will be assessed in line with our pre-existing illness policy, with nib’s appointed Medical Practitioner to make a final determination at the time of enquiry.

Is it safe to go to my health appointments?

If you have any upcoming appointments with the dentist, physio or any other health provider we recommend contacting your provider for any COVID-19 related questions. The good news is that the telehealth services we introduced as part of our COVID-19 support package in 2020 are here to stay. For more information, visit Telehealth and your cover.

For more information on the Australian management of the outbreak, travel restrictions and advice contact the National Coronavirus Health Line on 1800 020 080 or: https://www.health.gov.au/news/coronavirus-update-at-a-glance

International Students

The following FAQ's apply to students who have nib OSHC cover. For more information, call us on 1800 775 204 or email us at [email protected]

I’m no longer coming to Australia, can I cancel my OSHC cover?

Yes – for more information about cancelling your policy, visit our OSHC Refund page.

I haven’t been able to return to Australia due to travel bans and my course has started – what should I do?

If you are still coming to Australia to study but need to change your policy dates please supply a Confirmation of Enrolment confirming your new dates or once you arrive please supply your flight details so we can adjust your policy dates accordingly. For more information, visit our OSHC Refund page.

If I have COVID-19 symptoms and want to visit a GP Doctor, will it be covered by my OSHC cover?

If you’re showing symptoms of COVID-19, we recommend that you phone the 24/7 health direct number 1800 022 222 and speak with a nurse regarding your symptoms.

If you require treatment by a GP, visits to a GP are covered at 100% of the government-recommended fee (known as the ‘MBS’). Search for a preferred provider to find a doctor near you that will help minimise any expenses.

In response to COVID-19, the Australian Government has introduced new MBS items, which will allow people to access essential health services in their home while they undergo self- isolation or quarantine, and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for vulnerable people in the community. This is a temporary six-month measure. OSHC members who are isolating themselves at home for COVID-19 will be able to claim for services from any eligible telehealth provider through the new telehealth items. For more information, please see https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/03/covid-19-national-health-plan-primary-care-bulk-billed-mbs-telehealth-services_0.pdf

Can I claim on telehealth consultations?

The telehealth services that we introduced during the pandemic to help members access a range of medical services are here to stay. For more information, visit Telehealth and your cover.

Am I covered for pathology tests for COVID-19?

For outpatient services such as pathology where the treatment is not part of a hospital stay, you will be covered for 85% of the MBS rate of the service. You must include a valid item number on the receipt to make a claim.


Am I eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Australian Department of Health announced the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided at no cost to everyone in Australia, even if you’re not an Australian citizen or permanent resident. This includes overseas visitors, migrant workers and people without a Medicare card. You won’t need a prescription from a GP to get vaccinated, however you must attend a selected GP respiratory clinic or state vaccination hub.

For more information relating to the COVID-19 vaccine, including the Australian Government’s roll-out strategy and eligibility criteria, visit:

Watch COVID-19 Vaccination rollout videos in your language:
SBS Language | Coronavirus Vaccine and COVID-19 updates in your language

Read the latest vaccine information in your language:
COVID-19 vaccine information in your language | Australian Government Department of Health

How to check when and where you can receive the vaccine:
Vaccines Eligibility Checker

Read our articles Your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered and The 7 biggest COVID-19 vaccine myths on The Check Up for more expert advice on the COVID-19 vaccine.

Will I be covered if I need to go to hospital?

If you need to be admitted to hospital, and you don’t have any pre-existing conditions the following is applicable:

  • If you are admitted to an nib agreement private hospital, we will pay 100% of the contracted rate.

  • If you are admitted to a private hospital that is not contracted to nib, we will pay the default benefit. This may result in significant out-of-pocket expenses.

  • If you are admitted to a shared ward in a public hospital, we will pay 100% of the Gazetted Rate determined by State and Territory health authorities. This may result in you experiencing significant out-of-pocket expenses.

It is important you read the nib OSHC product fact sheet to know what you are covered for. It's also important that you check your benefit entitlement with us before going to hospital by calling 1800 775 204.

Will COVID-19 be considered a pre-existing condition?

A Pre-Existing Condition (PEC) is an ailment, illness, or condition where, in the view of nib’s appointed Medical Practitioner, signs or symptoms relating to that condition existed during the 6 months prior to arriving in Australia. Any future claims for complications arising from COVID-19 will be assessed in line with our pre-existing illness policy, with nib’s appointed Medical Practitioner to make a final determination at the time of enquiry.

Am I covered for prescription medications to help my recovery from COVID-19?

nib will help you pay for some prescription medications.

You are able to claim up to $50 per prescription item listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), after you pay the PBS Patient contribution. You can claim up to $300 per person per calendar year, capped at $600 for families.

If I’m self-isolating, will food and accommodation expenses be covered by my OSHC cover?

No – there are no benefits payable for food or accommodation on your OSHC cover. Your cover is there to assist you with medical expenses only.

International Workers

The following FAQ's apply to workers who have nib OVHC cover. For more information, call us on 1800 775 204 or email us at [email protected]

Who should I contact if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

If you're showing symptoms of COVID-19, we recommend that you phone the 24/7 health direct number on 1800 022 222 and speak with a nurse regarding your symptoms.

For details on the Australian Government’s National Health Plan concerning COVID-19, please see the Australian Government’s website.

Where do I get tested/treated?

If a GP deems testing for COVID-19 is necessary, they will direct you to the appropriate hospitals or testing centres.

Can I claim on telehealth consultations?

The telehealth services that we introduced during the pandemic to help members access a range of medical services are here to stay. For more information on whether you're eligible, visit Telehealth and your cover.

Does my health insurance cover doctors’ appointments?  

Depending on your level of cover, Doctor and GP cover may apply:

GP CoverageNo GP Coverage
nib Basic Visitornib Budget Visitor
IMAN Basic CoverIMAN Visitor
IMAN Value Plus VisitorIMAN Budget Visitor
IMAN Mid Visitor
IMAN Top Visitor

Download our nib App to check your level of cover.

Am I covered for pathology tests for the Coronavirus/COVID-19?

Depending on your level of cover, Pathology cover may apply:

Pathology CoverageNo Pathology Coverage
nib Basic Visitornib Budget Visitor
IMAN Basic VisitorIMAN Visitor
IMAN Value Plus VisitorIMAN Budget Visitor
IMAN Mid Visitor
IMAN Top Visitor

Download our nib App to check your level of cover.


Am I eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Australian Department of Health announced the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided at no cost to everyone in Australia, even if you’re not an Australian citizen or permanent resident. This includes overseas visitors, migrant workers and people without a Medicare card. You won’t need a prescription from a GP to get vaccinated, however you must attend a selected GP respiratory clinic or state vaccination hub.

For more information relating to the COVID-19 vaccine, including the Australian Government’s roll-out strategy and eligibility criteria, visit:

Watch COVID-19 Vaccination rollout videos in your language:
SBS Language | Coronavirus Vaccine and COVID-19 updates in your language

Read the latest vaccine information in your language:
COVID-19 vaccine information in your language | Australian Government Department of Health

How to check when and where you can receive the vaccine:
Vaccines Eligibility Checker

Read our articles Your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered and The 7 biggest COVID-19 vaccine myths on The Check Up for more expert advice on the COVID-19 vaccine.

What if I need to change my policy start date?

If you are still coming to Australia to work but need to change your policy start date please supply a copy of your new Visa Grant Notice or alternatively a copy of your record of movement from the Australian Department of Home Affairs to confirm that you haven’t arrived in the country. Please email this to [email protected]

What if I need to cancel my policy as I am no longer coming to Australia to work?

If you are no longer coming to Australia or you have decided not to return to work, please supply a visa cancellation notice and email this to [email protected] We will cancel your policy on the date you notified us.

What if I need to suspend my policy?

For information about suspending your policy, visit our Suspension page.

If I have pre-existing conditions, will I be covered for COVID-19 in the first 12 months of my policy?

Members that have a pre-existing condition (unrelated to COVID-19) will be covered for COVID-19 if, in the view of nib’s appointed Medical Practitioner, signs or symptoms relating to COVID-19 did not exist during the 6 months prior to arriving in Australia.

Useful links

Department of Health COVID-19 health alert:https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

Department of Health COVID-19 resources:https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources

Department of Health COVID-19 vaccines: health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines

healthdirect Symptom Checker: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/symptom-checker/tool/basic-details

Head to Health: https://headtohealth.gov.au

World Health Organisation Coronavirus latest updates: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

National Coronavirus Helpline: 1800 020 080

Information correct as of 1 July, 2021.

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