What to Know About Insurance for International Students Studying in Australia

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a type of health insurance in Australia designed specifically for international students. OSHC is insurance that helps overseas students cover the costs of medical and hospital treatment they may require while in Australia. Because of these restrictions, overseas students should obtain their Australian international student health insurance before leaving their home country.

Who Must Purchase OSHC?

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship requires all student visa holders and their dependents to retain OSHC for the duration of their stay in Australia.

There are a few exceptions to this rule:

Belgians Students
You do not need to acquire OSHC because they are covered by the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement.
Swedish Students
You do not need to purchase OSHC because they are covered by the National Board of Student Air or Kammarkollegiet. If neither plan covers it, Swedish international students must acquire OSHC insurance.
Norwegian Students
You do not need to acquire OSHC because they are covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.

Who purchases OSHC?

OSHC is purchased by your education provider, or you can select your own OSHC-approved provider and pay for the insurance yourself. It is critical that, regardless of who purchases it, you retain continuous coverage throughout your stay in Australia. This is especially true for students who are studying at two distinct universities that arrange insurance on the overseas student’s behalf.

Which insurers offer OSHC?

Currently, there are 5 insurers that offer OSHC which can be purchased through your academic institution or directly on your own:

  • Australian Health Management
  • BUPA Australia
  • Medibank Private
  • Allianz Global Assistance (subcontracted by Lysaght Peoplecare)
  • nib OSHC

What does OSHC cover?

The OSHC plan is intended to cover overseas students who require treatment in a doctor’s office, hospital, or for limited prescription drugs. Coverage varies depending on the plan you select, so contact each OSHC provider to ensure you have the coverage you require.

Ask about waiting periods, exclusions, and other plan limits. The OSHC insurance plan does not cover any treatment planned before of arrival in Australia, treatment to and from Australia, or transportation into or out of Australia. OSHC does not often cover dental, optical, or physiotherapy services.

You have OSHC coverage in Australia, but you desire coverage on your flight or if you plan to travel to other overseas destinations. After all, New Zealand and Fiji are only around the corner. Consider getting Australian international student health insurance so that you are covered if your OSHC plan terminates. Prices for travel medical coverage are updated daily, and you can apply directly online.

Proof of Insurance

When you submit your application, you will be asked to show evidence of payment as well as confirmation that your OSHC coverage commences when you arrive in Australia.

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