A complete guide on Australian Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

 Australia is one of the countries in the world that needs people coming or residing in the country to have health insurance, even if one is an international student and residing in the country temporarily. The Australia health care program is known as the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and is extremely important for you to understand and get before you enter in Australia.

Who do need to get Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)? This health insurance cover aids to meet the costs of medical care, pharmaceuticals, hospital care, and ambulance services while in Australia. Those living in Australia on a student visa or those who are applying for a student visa, must obtain an OSHC. However, there are some exceptions for this rule, which include:

  • Norwegian students covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.
  • Swedish students covered by the National Board of Student Aid
  • Belgian students covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia

Those who come into any of these categories do not require to be covered by the insurance from their home country and they do not have to get OSHC for themselves or any of their family members that are coming to Australia with them.

 What are the benefits of OSHC? The benefits of purchasing an OSHC can vary depending on the insurer. One might end up with basic coverage or, just by paying a little bit of a higher cost; one can get a little more in terms of comprehensive cover and additional services. However, there are some things that must be included in your safety net, which include:

  • Benefits as per the Medicate Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee for out of hospital services. This applies if one has a sitting with a general practitioner or doctor’s practice.
  • Full Medicate Benefits Schedule fee for any in-patient services, such as surgery or extensive care for a disease.
  • All public and some private hospital (only those that are associated with the OSHC provider insurance) shared ward accommodation.
  • Out-patient or day surgery accommodation.
  • Prosthetic devices.
  • Allowance of $50 per medication for up to $300 annually for a person. Apart from it, one can also get plans along with this, and one should consider them if he/she has prescriptions that they take frequently for any reason.

Some additional services that can be covered by OSHC There are some other services that can be covered by your Overseas Student Health Cover as well. In certain plans, some services like general optical treatment, general dental treatment, and physical therapy can be included, or some companies might offer these services in the form of “general treatment cover” at an additional cost.

Apart from it, there are some treatments that might also be covered by OSHC; however, these treatments generally require a waiting period. The most commonly include treatments include pre-existing conditions, either psychiatric that might have a 2 month waiting period, physical, or pregnancy related. The waiting period generally starts on the first day listed on your student visa.

An international student is only eligible for OSHC benefits for a total of five years unless stated by the program or university that he/she is attending. For instance, if the course of study that he is in requires him to stay in the country for more than five years (studying both Master’s and doctorate at a particular Australian university), then the university has to assist him in the process of getting an extension on his Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) plan.