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How Does Overseas Student Health Cover Work?

Why do overseas students need OSHC?

Paying for medical treatment in Australia can be expensive

Overseas students may not be eligible for Medicare (the public health system for Australian residents). Without access to Medicare, paying for medical treatment can be expensive.

When you’re away from home, it’s important to know medical treatment is available and affordable if something happens to you. 

Did you know?

Medical costs can be expensive. If you’re visiting Australia and you’re not covered by health insurance or Medicare, hospital treatment can cost you more than $1500 per day.

Student visa requirements

As an international student, you’re required to maintain adequate health insurance for the entire duration of your stay in Australia.

Overseas students who don’t maintain adequate health insurance are at risk of having their visa cancelled.

It is also a condition of the student visa that OSHC must be maintained while studying in Australia, Allianz Global Assistance may provide the Department of Home Affairs with the name and contact details of the Member who has cancelled his or her Policy or whose premium is refunded.

Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with Australia

If the country you're from has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia, you may be able to access some subsidised health services with Medicare while you’re visiting Australia.

Even if your country has an agreement with Australia, your access to cover may be limited and you may still be required to have OSHC.

Find out if your country has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.  

Who’s eligible for OSHC?

You can get OSHC if you’re an overseas student in Australia with a student visa.

Your spouse, de facto, child or step-child may also be eligible for OSHC under your policy.

To find out more, read the full policy wording

How much does OSHC cost?

How much you pay for OSHC depends on the type of cover you need. We offer OSHC for:

  • Singles –  covering only the overseas student who is the primary Student Visa holder*
  • Dual family – covering the overseas student, and either:
    • One adult spouse or de facto partner
    • One or more children under the age of 18 years old
  • Multi-family – covering the overseas student and more than one dependant, which can include:
    • Only one adult spouse or de facto partner
    • One or more dependent children

The Australian Government requires that you have continuous OSHC for the entire length of your stay in Australia. So when you purchase OSHC, you’ll need to pay your policy premium upfront to cover you for the length of the student visa you’re applying for.

*Also note: if you hold a secondary student visa, you must be insured under the same policy as the primary student visa holder.  You are only eligible to hold a single OSHC policy if you are the primary visa holder

If you decide to extend your study, you can renew you OSHC policy.

Ways to save time and money

Direct-billing medical providers

Using our network of providers makes it easier for you to claim when you visit a doctor.  All you need to do is show your valid OSHC membership card or e-membership card from your My OSHC Assistant app on the day of your appointment and the medical provider will bill us directly for the covered amount of your bill.

With direct billing, the doctor makes your claim on your behalf.  

Make sure you select a doctor that specifies they can direct bill.

Confirm prices before your appointment

Always check with your doctor or hospital and ask if there are any extra costs you may need to pay. Some medical providers may charge above the MBS fee, leaving you with more out-of-pocket expenses.