The OSHC health cover, which students are encouraged to purchase before they leave their home country, is specifically designed to cover the medical costs and hospital care for international students studying in Australia.
OSHC is either purchased by your education provider, or you can select your own OSHC approved provider from the following five registered health insurance companies that provide OSHC either on your own or through your academic institution:
- Australian Health Management;
- BUPA Australia;
- Medibank Private;
- Allianz Global Assistance; or
- NIB OSHC.
Why do I need OSHC?It’s crucial for all international students undertaking formal studies in Australia to have OSHC while they remain on student visas, mostly because foreign students are not covered under the Australian Government’s Medicare public health insurance system. This makes medical care hugely expensive for foreign students. In the event of accident or sickness, an OSHC provider is able to reimburse some, or all, of the costs of expensive medical treatments, depending on the cover’s inclusions.
How do I choose OSHC?When buying any health insurance, it’s important to ensure that the coverage is suitable to your needs. Below are some tips that might help:
1. Do your research.
While it’s tempting to go for the cheapest policy, make sure you read the product disclosure statement in any policy so that you know what you are actually covered for.
2. Contact each OSHC provider.
Since the coverage will depend on your chosen plan, it’s important that you talk to each OSHC provider to make sure that you get the right coverage, and maybe even a better price. While you’re at it, ask about waiting periods, limitations, restrictions, and other exclusions of the policy.
3. Understand your policy.You will want to know what you can claim and what you can’t. Not everything will be covered in full and some things may not even be covered at all. Hospital costs for overseas students are generally higher than $1000 per day.
4. Consider “extras” cover.
5. If you are uncertain, just ask.