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Bupa Overseas Student Health Cover

Bupa OSHC will meet your visa conditions - see if it's the right option for you.

Overseas student health cover (OSHC) is health insurance for overseas students. It covers the cost of your medical treatment if you get sick or have an accident while studying in Australia. In this review, we'll look at Bupa's offering to see what's included.

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Who's it for?

If you are an overseas student, the Australian government requires you to have OSHC for the entire time you are in the country. This includes if you are applying for or currently hold a student visa (subclass 500) or are on a bridging visa while applying to extend your student visa.

If you are in Australia with family members such as a spouse and children under 18 years of age, they must also have adequate health insurance for the duration of their stay.

Cover options

Bupa OSHC complies with Australian government visa requirements and helps with the cost of hospital and medical treatment for singles, couples and families of students in Australia.

It also covers ambulance services and provides limited benefits for pharmaceuticals (up to $300 a year for singles and $600 for families). If you wish to have cover for extras (ancillary benefits), such as optical, dental and physiotherapy services, you can also take out Bupa’s optional Extras OSHC for an additional charge.


Treatments covered by Bupa OSHC include the following:

  • Overnight or same-day hospital accommodation
  • Operating theatre, intensive care and labour ward fees
  • PBS-approved pharmaceuticals provided as part of in-hospital treatment
  • Allied services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and dietetics
  • Medication, dressings and other consumables
  • Most diagnostic tests (ie, pathology, radiology etc)
  • No-gap government-approved surgically implanted prostheses
  • Inpatient services provided by surgeons, anaesthetists, pathologists or radiologists
  • Outpatient services by GPs, specialists, medical imaging providers (X-rays and ultrasounds), pathology providers and more
  • Outpatient services at hospitals or outpatient clinics where you are not an admitted patient
  • Ambulance services including ambulance transport for admission to hospital or on-the-spot emergency treatment
  • Outpatient pharmacy items prescribed as a hospital outpatient or by a doctor or specialist
  • Dental. One check-up per calendar year
  • Optical. $50 voucher for one visit per calendar year
  • Physio, chiro and/or podiatry consultations. Three visits per calendar year
  • Dietician. Two phone consultations per calendar year
  • Bonus Dollars. $50 for singles, $100 for couples for one visit per calendar year


The following conditions, limitations and exclusions may apply to Bupa OSHC:

  • Some students may not need cover (ie, Norwegian students may be covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme, Swedish students by Kammarkollegiet and Belgian students by Australia’s Reciprocal Health Care Agreement).
  • Cover does not include extended family members, such as mothers, fathers, brothers and aunts.
  • Waiting periods start on the date you enter Australia or begin your membership, whichever is later, and apply before cover commences.
  • No cover for IVF and assisted reproductive services, cosmetic surgery, services not covered by Medicare, surgical procedures performed by a dentist or podiatrist, treatment for a student’s child over 18 years of age, medical treatments related to acquiring a visa or permanent residency or treatments rendered outside of Australia.

How to find a Bupa-friendly doctor

Bupa-friendly doctors are those who have agreements with Bupa and bill them directly so that you pay little or nothing on the day of your appointment.

If your doctor does not have an agreement with Bupa, you may have to pay for treatment and then submit your receipt to Bupa for compensation.

To find your nearest Bupa-friendly doctor, follow this link and enter your postcode in the box provided.

If you urgently need a doctor outside normal practice hours, call the National Home Doctor Service on 13 SICK (7425) and arrange for a doctor to visit you at home.

How to make a claim

Making a claim on your Bupa OSHC is easy and members have a range of claiming options:

Claim typeHospitalMedical (up to 100% of MBS)
On campusSome campusesSome campuses
HICAPS/at time of treatment with cardNoSome GPs only

If you are claiming money back on a treatment you have paid for, your payment will be sent to your nominated bank account. If you are claiming in order to pay for a treatment, you will be sent a cheque made out to the service provider.

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Insurance Expert

Tim Bennett is a Finder insurance & utilities expert. For over 10 years he's reported on news, politics, finance and other topics as a journalist and radio presenter. Tim's roles have included radio news reader and breakfast at the ABC, news producer for SBS and producer for Fairfax Media. Tim regularly appears as a health insurance expert on programs like Sunrise and SBS news, as well as in the Australian, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail and more. See full bio

Tim's expertise
Tim has written 116 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Personal finance
  • Financial comparison
  • Heath insurance
  • General insurance
  • Life insurance

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