Compare your OSHC options if you're studying in Australia.
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 type of health insurance specifically for international students who are studying in Australia. You can get different levels of cover to include additional treatments but a basic policy includes hospital accommodation and GP visits. Many health funds in Australia will also offer more comprehensive policies that cover a wider range of treatments which include out-of-hospital services such as optical and dental.
Basic level student health insurance will cover
What is typically excluded?
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 fulfil your visa requirements.
Does OSHC cover an emergency?
If you have signed up for OSHC, you will be covered for treatments on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. It also includes emergency ambulance cover and limited pharmaceuticals.
OSHC does not cover anything considered general treatment, such as the dentist, physiotherapy or optical.
Which health funds offer OSHC?
An Australian Health fund can offer OSHC policies for overseas students if it has signed a legal agreement with the Commonwealth in order to provide these services. These are the current health funds that offer cover:
- Peoplecare Health Limited (by Allianz)
- BUPA Australia
- ahm (by Medibank)
- nib Health Funds Limited
How do I get OSHC?
It's really easy to apply for cover, below are two finder partners who offer OSHC. Simply select enquire and someone will contact you to explore your options to make sure you are on the right plan.