Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

Compare Overseas Student Health Cover

Get one step closer to enjoying your time in the land of Oz. Choose from trusted Australian brands.

Allianz Care Australia OSHC

  • Meets conditions for the 500 Student Visa
  • Receive a certificate of insurance online
  • 24/7 Emergency phone help
  • Australia-wide cover

Compare OSHC visa compliant options

Name Product Visa Compliant Smartphone Claiming Private Hospital GP Visits Pharmaceutical Price
Allianz Care Australia Overseas Student Health Cover
$500 ($1,000 for families)
From $51 per month
CBHS Overseas Student Health Cover
From $48.36 per month
ahm Overseas Student Health Cover
From $47.70 per month
Bupa Overseas Student Health Cover
From $57.64 per month
Medibank Essentials Overseas Student Health Cover
$300 ($600 for families)
From $48.25 per month
nib Overseas Student Health Cover
From $47.92 per month
loading

What is OSHC?

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a type of health insurance designed specifically for international students who are studying in Australia. It is mandatory for anyone with a student visa and must be maintained throughout your entire study period. OSHC covers the cost of some hospital treatment, emergency ambulance services, visits to the doctor and limited pharmaceutical medicines.

OSHC is not only a mandatory requirement for international students, but it also gives a piece of mind, knowing that you can access quality healthcare in Australia whenever needed. From personal experience, a quick tip for you is to research the best possible option that suits your needs when choosing your OSHC provider.

Finder survey: How easy do Australians of different ages find it to get cover?

Response55-64 yrs35-44 yrs25-34 yrs18-24 yrs
Somewhat0.62%1.05%1.18%
Yes0.62%0.54%1.05%2.35%
No0.53%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1006 Australians, December 2023

What do I get with OSHC?

Hospital

Hospital bills

Your insurer will pay up to 100% of your hospital costs as long as your policy lists the treatment as covered. You may get less if you use a hospital that doesn't have a partnership with your insurer.

Surgeon

Doctor's visits

Your insurer will pay up to 100% of the amount that the Federal Government has determined that standard GP consultation should cost (you'll pay any difference if your provider charges more).

Private contract

Prescriptions, x-rays and bloodwork

You'll usually get a set yearly dollar amount that you can apply toward prescriptions and up to 85% for specialist service costs including X-rays and bloodwork.

Ambulance cover

Emergency ambulance rides

Your insurer will pay up to 100% of your ambulance rides in an emergency. If it's not an emergency, you'll be responsible for the cost.

How are treatments like dental covered?

Most OSHC policies don't include dental cover since it's not required as part of your visa. However, international students can get extras cover for non-hospital treatments like dental, optical and physio.

You can find plans that cover general dental treatments like cleanings, X-rays and simple fillings, or you can upgrade to a plan that includes major dental work like root canals, complex fillings and crowns.

You can choose from any extras policy in the Australian market and you'll hold this type of cover in addition to your OSHC policy.

What is not included with OSHC?

Keep in mind that you'll probably be unable to claim for a number of medical services and treatments under your student health insurance policy. Common exclusions include:

  • Treatments not covered by the Australian public health system
  • Treatment you require while travelling to or from Australia
  • Claims for treatment costs that could otherwise be covered by compensation or damages
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Any treatments you have arranged before travelling to Australia
  • Non-emergency ambulance transportation
  • Transportation of an overseas student (or their dependant) into or out of Australia
  • IVF and assisted reproduction services

Who needs OSHC?

Generally, everyone with a Subclass 500 Student Visa needs OSHC. Condition 8501 on the Department of Home Affairs website says that, "You must have and maintain adequate health insurance for the whole of your stay in Australia."

OSHC is designed to meet your visa's criteria and covers you as long as your premiums are paid and you're enrolled as a full-time student. When you take out OSHC, the insurer will email you a confirmation certificate which you can attach to your visa application.

Coming with your partner or spouse? They're covered too!

If you're travelling to Australia on a Subclass 500 Student Visa with your partner or spouse, they will also need cover. Good news is, you can apply for a couples policy to make sure you're compliant with the visa requirements.

Is OSHC mandatory for all nationalities?

You're not required to have OSHC if you're a student from Belgium, Norway or Sweden. Under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) that Australia has with those nations, you'll be able to claim benefits for certain medical treatment under the public health system called Medicare.

  • Belgian students. The benefits provided by the RHCA in place between Australia and Belgium is considered adequate health insurance. No student health insurance is needed to satisfy your visa requirements.
  • Norwegian students. As with Belgium, the RHCA between Australia and Norway satisfies the student visa health insurance requirements.
  • Swedish students. Health insurance is not required for Swedish students provided they are covered by a policy from the CSN (Swedish National Board of Student Aid) or the Kammarkollegiet (Swedish Legal, Financial and Administration Agency).

Be aware that if you are a student from any of the other countries Australia has an RHCA with, this does not exempt you from needing to take out OSHC.

How to provide evidence of your health insurance arrangements

"If applicants are required to provide evidence of their health insurance arrangements, any the following may be considered acceptable, unless a particular visa subclass instruction requires other specific information:

  • a copy of the insurance policy;
  • a written letter or cover note from an acceptable insurance provider, certifying that the primary visa applicant and any accompanying family members immediately upon visa grant or their arrival in Australia, are, or will be, covered by insurance that is at least as comprehensive as the prescribed adequate level of cover;
  • evidence that the visa applicant has lawfully enrolled with Medicare via Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RCHA);
  • evidence that the primary visa applicant and any accompanying family members immediately upon visa grant or their arrival in Australia, are, or will be, covered by health insurance that is at least as comprehensive as the adequate level of cover required under policy, with the understanding that the applicants will either enrol with Medicare under a RHCA or enrol in a private insurance arrangement after arrival; or
  • for citizens from the Republic of Ireland that may access RCHA, evidence that they hold an Irish passport.

Family members applying separately from the primary visa applicant or visa holder must produce evidence as per above, which clearly indicates that they, as dependant applicants, will be covered upon arrival in Australia by a policy with an adequate level of cover."

Washing machine on fire
— Kaku Caro is a lawyer in LegalVision’s Corporate Immigration team. He has previous experience in the areas of commercial litigation, corporate and personal immigration. He also has experience advising on visa eligibility and preparing visa applications such as partner visas, employer-sponsored work visas, parent visas, and general skilled migration visas.

How to compare OSHC options

Since OSHC is a requirement for a student visa, all insurers must provide you with minimum levels of cover for it to be compliant with your visa condition. This means that when comparing OSHC options, rather than cover levels, price is one of the main comparison points.

Below is a cost comparison for 1 year of cover for a single 25-year-old coming to Australia to study with cover for 12 months.

Health InsurerThe annual cost of cover*
ahm OSHC$572.00
Allianz Care Australia$627.00
Bupa$691.68
CBHS$569.40
Medibank$579.00
nib$575.00

*Prices correct at time of writing (25 August 2023) and subject to change

The costs above are for the basic cover option that just satisfies your visa requirements. Some funds, such as Medibank, offer comprehensive options that provide cover in addition to these minimum standards, and have benefits for private psychology and repatriation costs.

Can I transfer or change OSHC companies?

Yes, you're able to change your OSHC provider at any time, but you may incur a cancellation fee or refund processing fee.

If you plan to change OSHC providers, you must ensure there is no gap in coverage between your old and new providers. This means you must arrange cover from your new provider first, before cancelling your previous policy.

Any waiting periods that you have served on your existing policy will be honoured when you transfer your cover.

FAQs about OSHC and student health insurance

Compare Australian OSHC policies and request a quote

More guides on Finder

Go to site