To study in Australia, it is required that your visa maintains continuous OSHC for the whole period of your stay. The majority of Australians are insured by Medicare, the country’s national health insurance program, which contributes significantly to the expenses of healthcare services. While OSHC enables international students to obtain healthcare without facing financial hardship, Medicare does not provide coverage for overseas students. This article explains Australian overseas students’ health cover.
Categories of Students who Require OSHC
Australian Overseas Students’ Health Cover
OSHC is required for all international students and their family members, such as partners and children under the age of 18. The only exceptions are students from Belgium, who are protected by the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement between Australia and Belgium, students from Norway, whose government provides health insurance, and students from Sweden, who are covered internationally by the Kammarkollegiet or the Swedish National Board of Student Aid (CSN) (Swedish students not covered by these agencies will need OSHC).
Note: Australian residents from New Zealand have access to Medicare benefits.
Who Bears the Cost of the Overseas Students’ Health Cover
The following health funds have been given permission by the Australian Government Department of Health to provide OSHC:
OSHC costs vary depending on the type of protection needed. The cheapest minimal cover is $478 for a single policy for a year, $2,600 for a couple’s policy, and $4,200 for a family policy. Rates are usually adjusted for inflation. Your educational institution can arrange your OSHC for you, or you can buy it online via the OSHC provider’s website. You have the option of enrolling in OSHC with the provider that is suggested by your university or with a different provider.
Before purchasing health coverage, you should consult with the various OSHC providers to be sure the level of protection you have selected satisfies your requirements. You might examine multiple OSHC providers’ policies to make sure you get the best advantages at a minimal cost.
Use Finder to compare the features of various plans from particular suppliers.
Health Services Provided by the OSHC
Australian overseas students’ health cover.
The OSHC includes access to private hospitals and basic surgeries as well as doctor visits, specialized hospital care, limited medications, ambulance coverage, and some prosthetic devices. Basic OSHC does not cover dental, optical, or physiotherapy services, but some OSHC providers do offer these services as “extras” as part of more complete OSHC coverage.
Note: OSHC does not cover all medical expenses. Your expenses are partially but not entirely covered. In most situations, OSHC will pay a sizable amount of the expenses. Before purchasing coverage, you should consult with the OSHC providers to make sure you have the best and optimal protection.
OSHC Extra Coverage
Extra OSHC allows international students access to treatments like dentistry, physiotherapy, and optical care that are not covered by OSHC medical and hospital coverage. OSHC providers will be able to give complete information on the services offered under enhanced OSHC coverage and the associated costs.
Note: If you require any extra Medicare, the best course of action is to see a physician or attend the emergency room of a public hospital. Many universities have doctors on the premises or close by. To guarantee that students can obtain care with free or little out-of-pocket costs, OSHC doctors frequently establish direct billing connections with medical clinics. If you need more care, the doctor will recommend a hospital or specialist to you.
Accessing Hospitals as an International Student
If you need to access Medicare, either a public or private hospital is an option, but before travelling to a private hospital, you should check with your OSHC provider to see if your treatment will be covered there. To confirm your coverage in a non-emergency situation or for an elective operation, you should also get in touch with your OSHC provider before visiting a public hospital. If there is an emergency, you should head straight to the emergency room of the closest hospital and, if necessary, dial 000 for an ambulance.
It is important to state that for a majority of the time, OSHC will pay for a sizable amount of your medical costs. Typically, there are two options. You can pay the cost and then request a reimbursement from your OSHC provider, or you can request that payment be made for the bill straight to your OSHC provider.
In order to receive reimbursement for pharmaceutical claims from your OSHC provider, you must first pay the pharmacy for the item in question. Hospital bills are often delivered directly to OSHC providers for payment, although health insurers will have different policies regarding how to pay for treatment costs.
Contact your provider for further details as OSHC providers have different payment policies.
Additional Information Regarding OSHC
If you want to extend the length of your student visa, you must first get OSHC for the additional time.
It is also possible to change your OSHC provider at any time, however some companies impose a “refund processing fee” if you do so before the term of your current policy expires.