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Common healthcare words

Allied health professional - A health professional who is not a doctor, nurse or dentist, including physiotherapists, psychologists and dieticians.

GP - A General Practitioner, or doctor. You’ll find these at medical centres in the community.

Benefit - The amount you get back when you claim for an allowed service.

Hospital cover - Covering your costs when you’re admitted to hospital, including benefits for prosthesis and medical services provided during your hospital stay.

Rehabilitation – Treatment that is designed to help a patient recover from injury, illness or disease, for example physiotherapy or hydrotherapy.

Exclusions - Things you can’t claim for because they’re not included in your cover.

Out-of-pocket expenses - the difference you have to pay between the insurer’s benefit and what is charged by the service provider.

HICAPS (Health Industry Claims and Payments Service) - An electronic system that makes it easy for you to get money back by letting you claim benefits when you pay for your treatment.

Ophthalmology - specialised care relating to the eyes.

Outpatient service - Hospital service where patients get treatment without being admitted, or without staying in hospital.

Chiro, physio - specialists in chiropractic care and physiotherapy.

Policy - this is your health cover agreement or contact with your OSHC provider.

Private hospital - A non-government hospital which is privately owned and operated for patients who are treated by a doctor they choose.

Public hospital - hospital owned and managed by government.

Natural therapies - alternative treatments like acupuncture, naturopathy and remedial massage

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Start date

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Select the date you will arrive in Australia. If you are unsure choose a date upto 28 days before your courses start date.

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If you are switching from another OSHC provider choose the day after your OSHC expires.

In order to keep your visa valid you must be covered for OSHC continuously.

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End date

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Your overseas student health cover(OSHC) must cover the full period of your visa. Your student visa can be granted upto the maximum duration outlined in the table below.

Duration of course
Add to your course end date
10 months or less
1 month
Over 10 months ending January - October
2 months
Over 10 months ending November - December
Select 15th March of the next year

For example: If your course is from 1 January 2014 to 1 September 2014 (this is under 10 months) then add one month to the course end date.

In this example your OSHC dates would be 1 January 2014 to 1 October 2014.

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Get the right Student Health Cover

Getting Started With Student Health Cover

IDP gives you the freedom to choose. It's easy to buy Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) online yourself, or you can do it with the help of an IDP counsellor.

How to Use Student Health Cover

When you arrive in Australia, you may need to activate your OSHC policy and you can begin using it (but hopefully you won't need to!). Here are some tips of making a claim.

Understanding the Australian Healthcare System

We're here to help you understand the Australian healthcare system and how to navigate it. A little knowledge will help you to be confident you are getting the best healthcare services, when you need them.

Health and Safety Tips

Australia is a safe and healthy place to live, and there's a lot to see and do. You will probably be studying in a town or city, but you may also want to experience the wild beauty of its oceans, mountains, rivers and the famous 'outback' or 'bush'.

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