Overseas Student Health Cover

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Overseas Student Health Cover

Introduction of Overseas Student Health Cover

If you’re an international student studying in Australia on a temporary visa, you must have health insurance for the duration of your stay. This is known as Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), and it’s important to keep it active while holding your student visa. OSHC helps cover the costs of medical treatment and hospital care while you’re in Australia, including ambulance services and some medications. Since maintaining OSHC is necessary for your visa, it’s essential to keep your policy up to date. Falling behind on payments or renewals may mean you can’t claim for services during that period. If your visa status changes or you become eligible for Medicare, let your insurer know promptly to ensure your cover is still appropriate. Once your student visa expires, you’ll no longer qualify for OSHC. At that point, you can switch to a resident’s health cover or another plan for visitors from overseas.

Medicare and Overseas Student Health Cover

If you’re studying in Australia on a student visa from certain countries like the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Slovenia, Italy, or New Zealand, you have the option to apply for Medicare through Reciprocal Health Care Agreements. However, having access to Medicare doesn’t mean you can skip getting Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC); you still need OSHC.

Exemptions to Overseas Student Health Cover

There are some exceptions to the OSHC requirement for students from Sweden, Norway, or Belgium. If you fall under these exceptions, you might have special arrangements through your own national schemes. To confirm if you’re exempt from OSHC, check with the Department of Home Affairs. For further details on OSHC exemptions, you can refer to the Department of Health and Aged Care’s OSHC factsheet.

Coverage Provided by OSHC

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) primarily covers the expenses related to hospitalization and medical treatments during your stay in Australia. It also includes benefits for ambulance services. The minimum requirements for an OSHC policy are outlined in the OSHC Deed, with additional explanatory guidelines provided by the Department of Health and Aged Care. It’s important to note that OSHC doesn’t cover general treatments like dental, optical, or physiotherapy. If you need coverage for these services, you can opt for Extras OSHC from an OSHC provider or obtain general treatment cover from an Australian private health insurer. Additionally, you might choose to supplement your OSHC with other insurance such as international travel insurance.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and Pharmaceuticals

Regarding pharmaceuticals, OSHC offers limited benefits, with a maximum of $50 per pharmaceutical item and $300 annually for single membership ($600 for a family membership). This might not fully cover expenses, especially for treatments like oncology, which can be quite expensive. Travellers entering Australia are allowed to bring in medicines and medical devices for immediate use, as well as import small quantities for personal use. For more details on this, you can refer to the information provided on the Therapeutic Goods Administration website regarding Entering Australia and the Personal Importation Scheme.

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