Studying in Australia? Compare your OSHC options
If you're coming to study in Australia, you might need health cover.
Overseas Student Health Cover is mandatory for student visas that require condition 8501. It can also save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in medical bills.
How is an overseas student defined in Australia?
The DIBP classifies overseas students for health insurance purposes as those who are:
- Holders of a student visa
- Currently applying for a student visa
- Holders of a bridging visa who were previously on a student visa
This classification applies whether you are studying, or planning to study, at an Australian university, TAFE institute or secondary school.
What is OSHC?
OSHC is a specialised type of health insurance policy designed to meet the health care needs of international students who are studying in Australia. While the extent of medical services that can be claimed for differs depending on the policy you choose, there is a minimum standard of cover that must be included.
Medical treatments students health insurance must cover
The benefits above will be included in a basic policy, but many health funds in Australia will offer more comprehensive policies that cover a wider range of treatments which include out-of-hospital services such as optical and dental.
What is typically excluded from cover?
Keep in mind that you will be unable to claim for a number of medical services and treatments under your student health insurance policy.
Is OSHC mandatory for all nationalities?
If you are a student from Belgium, Norway or Sweden you may be eligible for an exemption from having to take out students health insurance. Under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) that Australia has with those nations, you will 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 satisfy 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 eight countries Australia has an RHCA with you will still be required to take out health insurance to fulfill your visa requirements.
Common student health insurance questions