The international student must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) while living in Australia. It helps the students cover the cost of medical bills, which for instance, applies to pharmaceuticals and ambulance services.
It is a requirement for all students with student visas in Australia. International students. As well as, any family members such as partners and children must maintain OSHC for the term of their student visa.
Because of these criteria, international students must obtain Australian international student health insurance before leaving their home country. You must first have OSHC even before you apply for a student visa for Australia.
Is Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) a compulsion for international students?
Your student visa requires that you have continuous OSHC for the duration of your stay in Australia. Most Australians are insured by Medicare, the country’s national health insurance program.
It covers a considerable portion of the costs associated with healthcare services. While Medicare does not cover overseas students, OSHC permits them to receive health care without incurring financial hardship.
How Does Overseas Student Health Cover Work?
The OSHC insurers will very certainly have contracts with several clinics or medical experts. In that case, simply present your OSHC membership card.
Afterwards, your consultation bill will be forwarded directly to your provider, who will settle it. This is known as bulk billing. If you are unclear, your insurer can provide you with a list of medical providers with whom they have agreements.
The plan is intended to cover international students seeking treatment at a doctor’s office, hospital, or for a restricted number of prescription drugs.
Coverage will vary depending on the plan you select, so contact each OSHC provider to ensure you have the coverage you require.
You will be requested to pay your consultation cost in advance if you visit a doctor or hospital that does not have an agreement with your OSHC insurer. But keep the receipt since you’ll need it to get the money back from your OSHC provider.
You may be able to do this online, by phone, or by mail, depending on the conditions of your slot policy. After you file your claim, the funds will be paid into your bank account within a few working days.
You have OSHC coverage in Australia, but you desire coverage throughout your flight or if you plan to travel to other overseas destinations. After all, New Zealand and Fiji are only a few hours away.
Consider getting Australian international student health insurance in order to be protected if your OSHC plan expires. Prices for travel medical coverage are updated daily, and you may apply online.
How Is OSHC beneficial?
You can also augment your OSHC coverage with additional insurance, such as international travel insurance. The insurance now covers Coronavirus (COVID-19)-related disorders, especially in the clinical categories “Lung and chest,” “Kidney and bladder,” and “Dialysis for chronic kidney failure.”
Furthermore, it offers very limited pharmaceutical benefits, with a single membership costing no more than $300 per year ($600 for a family membership). If you need pharmaceutical treatment, particularly oncology (cancer) treatment, overseas students in Australia may face large out-of-pocket payments.
While studying in Australia, OSHC assists overseas students in paying for medical and hospital services. It also includes minimal medications and emergency services.
OSHC does not cover general treatment such as ancillary or additional coverage such as dental, optical, or physiotherapy. You can receive Extras OSHC from an OSHC provider or general treatment coverage from any Australian private health insurer if you need coverage for these services.
Providers of OSHC in Australia
There are many Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) providers in Australia. Here is a list of some private health insurers that you can contact for health insurance.
Peoplecare is a non-profit national health fund that has been serving members since 1953. It is a high-performing, multi-award-winning firm.
They offer a variety of healthcare alternatives that have been independently evaluated as among the best value in Australia. The firm has also earned a reputation for providing exceptional customer service.
Bupa is a multinational healthcare corporation. We were founded in 1947. They have their headquarters in the United Kingdom.
Likewise, over the years, it has expanded to become a global organization with over 38 million customers globally. The company specializes in health insurance, health provision (including dental, clinics, hospitals, GP services, and digital healthcare), and elderly care.
3. Australian Health Management
Australian Health Management Group Ltd. offers health insurance and personalized health management solutions. Over the past 40 years, over 500,000 Australians have trusted AHM with their health insurance. It is a local success story and a 100 per cent Australian-owned business.
If you meet the criteria for that condition, NIB can give automatic cover for over 40 existing medical conditions. Over 1.4 million Australian and New Zealand people have received health and medical insurance through them. They also offer health insurance to over 190,000 overseas students and workers in Australia.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) from Medibank can meet your visa health insurance requirements and assist with medical treatment if you have an accident or become ill while studying in Australia. According to their website, they satisfy the Australian Government’s regulations and are fully compliant for applying for or renewing a student visa.
Inclusion in OSHC
OSHC is a compulsion for overseas students before they enter the country for further studies. The plan is intended to cover international students seeking treatment at a doctor’s office or hospital. The plan is valid for restricted number of prescription drugs.
Out-of-hospital treatment (such as seeing a GP or a specialist), in-patient medical treatments (such as surgery), ambulance services, and hospitalization are common examples of what OSHC covers.
Meanwhile, the coverage on the medical bills will vary depending on the plan you select, so contact each OSHC provider to ensure you have the coverage you require. You should do proper research about the plan’s waiting periods, exclusions, and other restrictions before applying for it.
The OSHC insurance plan does not cover any pre-arrival treatment in Australia, treatment to and from Australia, or transportation into or out of Australia. In addition, usually, they also don’t cover dental, optical, or physiotherapy services.
How To get health and travel insurance in Australia?
To get health and travel insurance covered in Australia as an international student, you can either apply from the university or else you can directly go through the website of the insurance provider.
Once you’ve paid your fees, certain colleges have arrangements with insurance carriers. During your study, OSHC will automatically enrol you. In any case, you are free to choose the insurer of your choice.
Even if your university recommends a specific provider, you are not required to take up OSHC with them. You can use comparison sites like OSHC Australia to shop around for the best insurance for you.
Cost for OSHC
OSHC costs vary depending on the type of coverage selected. The cheapest minimum cover is AUD$478 for a year of singles cover, $2,600 for a year of a couple’s policy, and $4,200 for a year of family cover (as of September 2021).
Meanwhile, your university/college can arrange for your OSHC. Or else, you can purchase it online through the OSHC provider’s website.
Moreover, you can also obtain OSHC through your bank’s preferred provider or through another source.
Before taking up the plan, you should speak with the various OSHC providers to confirm the level of benefits you have chosen and if it suits your needs.
You may want to compare insurance from several OSHC providers to guarantee you get the most advantages for the least money. Followingly, you can also use Finder to compare the differences between plans from various suppliers.
Overseas student health insurance is essential in order to obtain a student visa. The OSHC covers ambulance services as well as medical and hospital care, which is beneficial when you are in a foreign country living as a student.
OSHC providers offer significant benefits in comparison to the Medicare Benefits Schedule as indicated by the Australian Department of Health. Overseas student health insurance programs also cover pharmacy-purchased drugs. International students have the option of purchasing plans based on their needs and budget.
Certain insurers provide health insurance to overseas students in Australia as part of a ‘Deed of Agreement’ with the Department of Health to provide adequate health insurance to students at a reasonable cost.
For international students studying in Australia, AHM Health Insurance, Bupa, Medibank, nib, and Allianz Global Assistance are a few registered health insurers that provide Overseas Student Health Cover.