Talk to us arrow

hipchat Call
text.skipToContent text.skipToNavigation

Overseas Student Health Cover FAQ

 Written by Ezanne Zheng, June 2017

What is OSHC?

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) refers to a health insurance that is used to assist International students meet the costs of potential medical and hospital care that they might require during their stay in Australia.

Who requires OSHC?

International students undertaking formal studies in Australia must obtain OSHC as a requirement from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Additionally, the OSHC must be maintained throughout the proposed study duration in Australia. Overseas students who do not maintain their OSHC are at risk of having their visas cancelled.

What does OSHC cover?

OSHC covers for visits to the doctor, some hospital treatment, ambulance costs and limited pharmaceuticals (medicines). Since the level of coverage differs from each provider and plan, please enquire on the coverage of the plan before purchasing. Here is an example of what a basic plan may include: Compulsory minimum services to comprehensive products which cover the compulsory minimum services and extra services as specified under the particular policy. Additionally you can always opt for additional covers by contacting the provider.

The minimum coverages include:

  • The benefit amount listed in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee for out-of-hospital medical services (for example, a general practitioner)

  • 100% of the MBS fee for in-patient medical services (for example, surgery)

  • Public hospital shared ward accommodation

  • Private hospital shared ward accommodation (only for hospitals that have contractual arrangements with the overseas student’s health insurer)

  • Day surgery accommodation

  • Some Prosthetic devices

  • Pharmaceutical benefits up to $50 per pharmaceutical item to a maximum of $300/year for a single membership ($600 for a family membership). Overseas students may face significant out of pocket costs if they do not have appropriate coverage for treatment with pharmaceuticals, particularly oncology (cancer) treatment.

  • Ambulance services

Other coverages

You might want to consider purchasing private health insurance in addition to your present OSHC policy to cover items that’s not being covered by your OSHC policy.

How do I purchase OSHC?

OSHC can be purchased online prior to visa application via the respective provider’s websites. Your education provider can also arrange for this on your behalf at the point of acceptance.

Examples of Insurers who offer OSHC


Australia Department of Health

3. Visas and Passports

Thirdly, keep in mind to ensure that your visa and passport information are up-to-date and completed as the Australian government requires.

  • Have you been granted your e-Visa? Do print out your Visa Grant Letter for your reference and that the period granted covers your full duration of course.
  • Does your passport cover you for all or the majority of the course duration? Make sure that you have at least six months validity in your passport.
  • Have you printed out your eCOE?
  • For the military men, have you applied for your Military Exit Permit online?
  • Are your visa and passport placed somewhere that is easily accessible? It is best to place them in your carry-on luggage or handbag.

Please select a level of study

Enter subject, choose from the list or hit search

  • Start typing, choose from the list or hit search

  • Enter subject, choose from the list or or hit search

Please type and select an institution

  • Type 3 characters of a university name and select from the list

  • Enter a university or school name and select from the list

Please select a level of study

Got any ideal countries in mind?