You’ve decided to apply for a student visa, hoorah! Whilst gathering all of the necessary documents for your application, make sure to remember to organise appropriate health insurance.
As part of Student Visa Subclass 500 conditions, you’re required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
It’s important to maintain OSHC cover during your time in Australia so make sure to keep up to date with payments and to renew cover when necessary.
But there’s no need to worry, our resident student blogger has answered common questions about health insurance below from what OSHC covers to protection during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Do I need OSHC to study in Australia?
As part of visa condition 8501, you must not enter Australia before your Overseas Student Health Cover has begun and you are not permitted to stay once it has expired.
Do all international students need OSHC?
Exceptions may apply if you are a student from Norway, Belgium or Sweden. If you fall into this category, you can learn more about special arrangements on the Department of Home Affairs website.
What does OSHC cover?
OSHC is designed to help students to meet the costs of medical bills, hospital care, ambulance call-outs and limited pharmaceuticals.
There are three policies to choose from.
There is a single policy, a partner policy or 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).
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 which offers competitive prices and an instant insurance certificate with your student visa lodgement. You can find up-to-date costs on our website.
Our team will arrange OSHC on your behalf so you don’t need to worry.
How do I use my OSHC card?
If you need to visit a doctor, simply show your nib card and student ID at the reception. You will be charged both the doctor’s and government fee. If the medical centre is part of the nib OSHC Preferred Providers, you can claim right away.
If not, nib will only cover the medical fees up to the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) amount meaning you will need to pay a fee.
When on the move, you can use the nib app to manage and access health cover no matter where you are.
Just make sure to remember to always keep a receipt so that you can submit your claim via the Nib online system.
I have Medicare, do I need OSHC too?
If you are from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Slovenia, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden or the Netherlands, you may also wish to apply for Medicare coverage under your country’s Reciprocal Health Care Agreements.
Further information can be found on the official Australian Government website.
Remember, having Medicare coverage does not exempt you from needing to take out OSHC.
Does OSHC cover Covid-19 healthcare costs?
If you are showing symptoms of Covid-19, it is recommended that you call the 24/7 health direct number 1800 022 222. What your OSHC covers depends upon your insurance company but details on nib can be found on our dedicated page.
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 page on Covid-19 and OSHC cover for further information.
What happens to my OSHC cover 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 cover.
Help and support during your time studying in Australia
If you apply for your student visa with Study Online Australia, we will organise nib OSHC on your behalf.
Whether you have questions about enrolment, work rights or seeking extra help on your course, please don’t hesitate to drop us an email.
Study better with Study Online Australia.
We go above and beyond to make sure that you have the best experience possible during your stay in Australia. For free help and advice, get in touch.
Pavla, The Director