Australia has a special health insurance coverage for international students called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). OSHC is insurance designed to help international students cover the costs of medical and hospital care that they may need while in Australia. Because of these requirements, it is important that international students purchase their Australian international student health insurance prior to departing their home country.
Who Must Purchase OSHC?
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship requires that all individuals carrying a student visa and their dependents must maintain OSHC for the full duration of their time in Australia.
There are a few exceptions to this rule:
Belgians Students Do not need to purchase OSHC since they are covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement. Swedish Students Do not need to purchase OSHC since they are covered under the National Board of Student Air or by Kammarkollegiet. If not covered by either, then Swedish international students will need to purchase OSHC. Norwegian Students Do not need to purchase OSHC since they are covered under the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.
Who purchases OSHC?
OSHC is purchased either by your education provider or you can choose your own OSHC approved provider and pay the insurance yourself. It’s important that regardless of who purchases it, that you maintain continuous coverage for the entire stay in Australia. This especially applies for students who are studying through two different institutions who organize the insurance on the international student’s behalf.
Which insurers offer OSHC?
Currently, there are 5 insurers that offer OSHC which can be purchased through your academic institution or directly on your own:
- Australian Health Management
- BUPA Australia
- Medibank Private
- Allianz Global Assistance (subcontracted by Lysaght Peoplecare)
- nib OSHC
What does OSHC cover?
The OSHC plan is designed to provide coverage for international students seeking treatment at a doctor’s office, hospital, or for limited prescription drugs. Coverage will vary based on the plan you purchase so it’s important to contact each OSHC provider to ensure that you get the coverage you need.
You will want to ask about waiting periods, exclusions, and other limitations on the plan. The OSHC insurance plan will not cover any treatment arranged in advance of arrival to Australia, treatment to and from Australia, as well as transportation into or out of Australia. OSHC does not typically cover dental, optical or physiotherapy either.
If you are looking for coverage for these events, you will need to buy a separate private Australian international student health insurance plan:
If you are looking for a standalone emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains plan, we recommend the Sky Rescue. Complimenting your OSHC plan, the Sky Rescue provides transportation to the nearest facility equipped to handle treatment, and will also transport the body back to the home country in case of death.
Your medical bills are covered by OSHC but you are still concerned about the possibility of trip interruption or cancellation? If you are a US citizen or if you are located in the US, you can purchase the RoundTrip insurance plan that will protect your expenses in the event that you need to cancel your trip, need to return home due to an emergency, miss your connection, or even if your baggage gets lost or delayed.
You’ve got OSHC to cover you in Australia, but you want coverage during your flight or you are planning to travel to other international destinations as well. After all, New Zealand and Fiji are just around the corner. Consider purchasing an Australian international student health insurance so that you can be covered when your OSHC plan stops. Prices on travel medical plans are daily rated and you can apply right online.
Proof of Insurance
When you complete your application, you will be asked to provide proof of payment as well as confirmation that your OSHC coverage begins when you arrive in Australia.