If you’re in Australia on a student visa, ahm will meet your OSHC requirements.
Australian Health Management, known as ahm, was founded in the 1970s and is now owned by Medibank. If you’re a student, read on to find out how ahm can meet your health cover visa requirements.
What visas does it cover?
If you’re an overseas student studying in Australia, you’re likely to be here on a Student Visa (Subclass 500). If so, you’re required by the Australian Government to have adequate hospital and medical cover during your stay in Australia.
This applies to all overseas students, whether you’re applying for a student visa, have one already, or are on a bridging visa while you wait for your student visa to be extended. Your spouse and any children under 18 who are staying with you in Australia must also have health cover while they are here.
Before you arrive and once you have arrived
You can either buy your ahm OSHC health cover online before you arrive in Australia or buy it once you’re here. If you purchase your cover overseas, it will take effect from the date you arrive in Australia.
If you buy your ahm OSHC health cover after you arrive in Australia, your cover starts once your premium has been paid, unless you’ve nominated a later commencement date because you’re transferring from another health fund.
Why would you get OSHC?
The reason the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) requires you to have health cover is because you won’t be covered by Medicare, Australia’s national health care program. So if you became ill or injured while in Australia, you’d have to pay your own hospital and medical bills. This might be very expensive, as treatment in a public hospital can cost as much as $2,500 a day.
What are the cover options?
ahm OSHC provides health insurance for singles, couples, families and single parents and covers the following:
- Medical cover: 100% of the Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) fee on GP consultations, 85% of the MBS fees for medical services provided outside of hospital (eg, specialists, pathology and x-rays) and 100% of the MBS fee for medical services provided when admitted to hospital (e.g. surgeon, anaesthetist etc).
- Hospital cover: Benefits towards hospital accommodation including overnight admissions, same-day admissions, intensive care and theatre fees in a partner private hospital, a non-partner private hospital (lower benefits paid) and a public hospital (shared room only). Also covers emergency ambulance and surgically implanted prostheses.
- Prescription medicines: Pays the difference between the PBS amount and the cost of the item up to $50 per item (limit of $300 per year).
If you choose to take out hospital cover with ahm, you’ll be covered for treatments including:
- Obstetrics and pregnancy-related services
- Heart-related admissions
- Appendicitis treatment
- Tonsils and adenoids removal
- Knee and shoulder reconstruction surgery and investigations
- Non-cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgery
- Major eye surgery including cataracts
- Hip and knee joint replacement surgery
- Renal dialysis
- Psychiatric treatment
- Palliative care
- Surgical removal of wisdom teeth (hospital charges only).
Some things you need to know
When considering if ahm could be the right choice for your OSHC, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons. Here are some of the key features:
- Access to ahm’s 24/7 Student Health and Support Line (includes a registered nurse, counselling services, legal advice, help with travel documents, interpreter and family and friends message service).
- Your choice of doctor or specialist for medical treatment in hospital.
- An easy online claims process.
- The option to include extras cover to access a range of ancillary services such as dental, optical and physiotherapy.
- No cover for accident and emergency facility fees raised by private hospitals (only public hospitals).
- Waiting periods for most services (2 months for pre-existing psychiatric conditions and 12 months for pre-existing medical conditions and pregnancy-related services including childbirth).
- No cover for treatment of a child over 18 years of age (standard with most OSHC products).
How to make a claim
Claiming on your ahm OSHC is easy. You can submit claims online for medical services you’ve paid for and payment will be deposited in your account, usually within 2 business days. Just log into ahm’s Online Member Services, supply details of the claim and scan and upload your receipts.
You can also claim by mail by downloading and completing the claim form and posting it with your receipts to ahm OSHC, Reply Paid 88995, Wetherill Park Bc NSW 2164.
How to get a refund or cancel your policy
If you have to cancel your OSHC policy, ahm will refund all of your premium if you don’t come to Australia to study or if you pay for an extended stay and your visa is not extended.
ahm will also refund the unused portion of your premium if:
- you have to cancel your studies and return home
- your visa is cancelled or your status changes
- you’ve been granted permanent residency or another type of Australian visa
- you didn’t remain in Australia for at least 3 months while holding a student visa or
- you decide to leave Australia after completing your studies before your student visa expires.