Overseas Student Health Cover Australia
About Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) Australia
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) Australia is health insurance for international students that will help you pay for medical and hospital care if you need it while you’re in Australia.
It’s a condition of your student visa that you buy OSHC before you leave for Australia and maintain your insurance policy for the length of your stay. If you extend your visa, you also need to extend or renew your OSHC policy.
Keep your OSHC insurance card with you always and show it if you need emergency treatment and care. Your OSHC will cover you for:
- visits to the doctor (a GP)
- some hospital treatment
- emergency ambulance services
- some pharmaceuticals (medicine).
You also have the option to upgrade your policy to cover dental, optical and physiotherapy services.
If your policy lapses and you’re not covered by OSHC, you’ll still get the treatment and care you need, but you’ll have to pay the full amount for your treatment.
Students who don’t need OSHC
You don’t need OSHC if you’re:
- a Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme
- a Swedish student covered by the National Board of Student Aid or by Kammarkollegiet
- a Belgian student covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.
Check your OSHC policy for their waiting periods. You might have to wait up to a year to be covered for services related to pre-existing conditions or pregnancy.
Where to buy OSHC
You can buy your OSHC insurance through:
- Allianz Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC Worldcare)
- Australian Health Management
- BUPA Overseas Student Health Cover
- Medibank Private
- nib Overseas Student Health Cover
Before you buy an OSHC policy, make sure you check with the insurer to find out exactly what you’re covered for and when you might have ‘out of pocket’ expenses, as this will vary between insurers. ‘Out of pocket’ expenses refers to the gap between what your treatment and care costs and what your insurance provider will pay. Remember that the best health insurance for international students is not necessarily the one with cheapest upfront fees.
If you need to find a medical service in Australia, ask your OSHC provider for information on the closest healthcare providers to you where you won’t have to pay for treatment, or where your payments will be minimal.
It’s still wise to take out travel insurance even after you buy OSHC to cover you for other things like property damage and loss while you’re studying in Australia. We recommend that you organise travel insurance before you come to Australia.
More information about OSHC
Because the OSHC requirements change from time to time, we recommend you visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website’s page on Health insurance for overseas students for up-to-date and detailed information.
The Australian Government’s Department of Health website provides a helpful list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about OSHC.
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