If you are an international student in Australia on a temporary student visa, then you must have special health insurance mandatory for international students in Australia.
This health insurance is called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and you must maintain it throughout the duration of your stay in Australia. This health insurance is designed to help international students cover the costs of medical and hospital care that they may need while in Australia.
It is important that international students purchase their Australian international student health insurance and keep their policy up to date prior to departing their home country.
The overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), program helps overseas students pay for any necessary hospital and medical care while they are studying in Australia. OSHC also includes minimal pharmaceutical coverage and ambulance coverage.
Who Must Purchase Overseas Student Health Cover?
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship requires that all individuals carrying a student visa and their dependents must maintain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the full duration of their time in Australia.
There are a few exceptions to this rule:
Do not need to purchase OSHC since they are covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement.
Do not need to purchase OSHC since they are covered under the National Board of Student Air or by Kammarkollegiet. If not covered by either, then Swedish international students will need to purchase OSHC.
Do not need to purchase OSHC since they are covered under the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.
Who purchases OSHC?
Your education provider may purchase OSHC on your behalf, or you may choose your own OSHC-approved provider and pay for the insurance on your own. It’s crucial that you retain continuous coverage for the duration of your stay in Australia, whoever purchases it.
This is especially true for students who are enrolled in classes at two distinct schools, each of which arranges their insurance on their 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:
|Allianz Care Australia (Peoplecare)
|CBHS International Health
What does OSHC cover?
The Overseas Student Health Cover plan is made to offer coverage for medical services at a hospital or doctor’s office as well as for a small number of prescription prescriptions to overseas students.
In order to make sure you receive the coverage you require, it’s vital to get in touch with each OSHC provider, as coverage will vary depending on the plan you choose. You should enquire about the plan’s waiting periods, exclusions, and other restrictions.
Any treatment scheduled prior to arriving in Australia, treatment provided in and outside of Australia, and the OSHC insurance plan do not cover travel into or out of Australia. Dental, optical, or physiotherapy services are often not covered by OSHC either.
Keep in mind to keep your cover-up at all times because having Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a necessity for visas. You will be able to keep your coverage if you do fall behind on payments or renew your policy, but you might not be able to make a claim for services you got while you were in arrears.
Inform your insurer as soon as possible if your Medicare eligibility or visa status changes at any moment to determine if your current level of coverage is still appropriate.
You lose your eligibility for OSHC when your student visa ends. After that, you can choose between a residents’ plan and an Overseas Visitors Health Cover plan.
What is not Covered by Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
General treatment (also known as supplementary or extra cover), such as dental, optical, or physiotherapy, is not covered by OSHC.
You can enroll in Extras Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) offered by an OSHC provider or general treatment coverage with any Australian private health insurer if you need coverage for these services. You might also decide to add additional insurance, such as international travel insurance, to OSHC.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and COVID-19
OSHC covers illnesses caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), primarily those in the clinical categories of “Lung and chest,” “Kidney and bladder,” and “Dialysis for chronic kidney failure.”
In order to assure continuity of coverage during this time, it is advised that international students who are stuck in Australia owing to the required travel restrictions implemented by the Australian Government in response to the global epidemic contact their private health insurer.
It is advised that international students with student visas who are away from home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) speak with their private health insurer about their choices at this time.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and pharmaceuticals
Only restricted pharmaceutical benefits—limited to $50 per pharmaceutical item with a yearly membership cap of $300 for an individual and $600 for a family—apply.
If you require pharmaceutical therapy, especially oncology (cancer) treatment, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars, you may have large out-of-pocket expenses.
Visitors to Australia are allowed to import modest amounts of medicine and medical equipment for personal use as well as bring them in for immediate use.
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