“Does Medicare cover international students?”
“What does OSHC cover in Australia?”
“What’s the difference between Medicare and OSHC?”
At Study Online Australia, we get asked lots of questions about Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). As part of Student Visa Subclass 500 conditions, you’re required to maintain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) whilst studying in Australia.
This means you need to purchase OSHC and keep your policy up to date.To make things easier, the Study Online Australia team will apply for OSHC on your behalf saving you both time and money.
Some exceptions may apply if you are a student from Sweden, Norway, or Belgium.
If this applies to you, you may have special arrangements under your own national schemes - check with the Department of Home Affairs to find out if special arrangements apply to you and if you are exempt from the requirement to purchase OSHC.
Below, we’ve answered some of the most common student questions about Medicare and OSHC in Australia from costs and coverage to the differences between them.
What is OSHC?
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is mandatory health insurance for international students living in Australia.
Do I need OSHC if I have Medicare?
Yes. If you are applying for a temporary student visa in Australia, you must maintain adequate overseas student health cover (OSHC) for the duration of your stay.
If you meet the criteria to apply for Medicare in Australia (see below), then you may apply for both forms over cover if you wish.
Does Medicare cover international students?
If you’re in Australia on a student visa from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, New Zealand, Slovenia, the Netherlands or New Zealand, you can apply for Medicare.
The process is simple. All you need to do is fill out a Medicare enrolment form online and provide the below certified supporting documents (note: these depend upon your individual circumstances):
You can email these documents and your application to Medicare Enrolment Services or can apply in person by visiting your local Medicare service centre. Your nearest centre can be found on the official Australian Government website.
Is OSHC a form of Medicare?
No. Having Medicare coverage does not exempt you from needing to take out OSHC.
If you are applying for a temporary student visa in Australia, you must maintain adequate overseas student health cover (OSHC) for the duration of your stay.
What does OSHC cover in Australia?
OSHC is designed to help students meet the cost of medical bills, hospital care, ambulance call-outs and limited pharmaceuticals.
There are three policies in total to choose from.
There is a single policy, a partner policy and a family policy. The last option provides health insurance for you, your partner and any dependent children under 18 (if they live with you in Australia or are listed on your student visa).
Can I still use Medicare if I have private healthcare?
Yes. You may wish to purchase additional private health insurance on top of Medicare in order to cover extra services whether that’s seeing an optometrist or dentist.
Where can I purchase OSHC?
There are six providers who offer the same OSHC cover for international students, all of which can be found on the official Australian Government website. The prices of these range according to the insurance company.
At Study Online Australia, we work with nib and our expert team will arrange OSHC on your behalf so you don’t need to worry.
How much does OSHC cost in Australia?
The cost of OSHC varies year on year and prices range according to the insurance company.
At Study Online Australia, we work with nib which offers competitive prices and an instant insurance certificate with your student visa lodgement. You can find up-to-date costs on our website.
What is the cheapest health insurance in Australia?
OSHC costs vary depending upon the provider. If you apply for a student visa with Study Online Australia, we’ll help organise Nib cover on your behalf.
As one of the country’s leading health insurers, you can rest assured it’s money well spent with its easy-to-use online services meaning you can manage your insurance from the comfort of your own home.
With nib online services you can manage your health insurance from the comfort of your home.
What happens to my OSHC when my student visa expires?
When your student visa expires, you are no longer eligible for OSHC.
If you move onto a 485 Temporary Graduate Visa, then you will need to apply for Working Visitor Health Cover (OVHC). If you continue studying in Australia, you will need to extend your OSHC policy.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need help extending your OSHC.
Does OSHC cover Covid-19 healthcare costs?
According to Private Health, OSHC may cover Covid-19 related illnesses such as ‘kidney and bladder’, ‘lung and chest’ and ‘dialysis for chronic kidney failure’.
However, covers will vary depending upon your insurance company.
If you purchased OSHC but are no longer able to travel to Australia, you can apply for a refund via the official nib website. You can also change your policy dates here if you have not been able to return to Australia due to current restrictions.
Head over to our dedicated page on Covid-19 and OSHC cover for further information.
At Study Online Australia, we go above and beyond to make sure that you have the best experience possible during your stay. For free help and advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Pavla, The Director