Overseas Student Health Cover - OSHC
Do you have OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover)? As an international student, it is a requirement of your student visa that you have private health insurance for the duration of your stay in Australia as per the Australian Government policy. Medicare Australia national health program does not cover you.
What is Overseas Student Health Cover?
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is insurance that provides cover on the costs for medical and hospital care which international students may need while in Australia. OSHC provides 85% of the scheduled (government recommended) fee for consultations with private doctors (including specialists) and emergency ambulance transport. It will also pay all the charges for a shared ward and treatment in a public hospital if a doctor appointed by the hospital treats you.
Overseas health cover does not pay for pharmaceutical drugs, dentists, physiotherapists, spectacles or contact lenses, pregnancy-related services during the first 9 months of cover or pre-existing conditions. Additional coverage for these purposes can be purchased separately from OSHC worldcare or any other private insurer.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) Eligibility
People eligible for overseas health cover are students from overseas who are undertaking formal studies in Australia, and their family members (for example, spouses and children under 18 years old). For the purpose of OSHC, there are three categories of overseas students. These are:
- Non-Australian residents with a current student visa;
- Students from New Zealand; or
- Expatriate Australian students who are ineligible for cover by Medicare.
- Students in all three categories are eligible for, and must take out, OSHC.
Why are international students required to maintain OSHC?
Hospital treatment in Australia can be expensive. The average cost for a bed in a public hospital in Australia is $240 per day. International students are not eligible for Medicare - the Australian government's public health insurance system. Without access to the safety net of Medicare, international students may have difficulty paying for medical treatment. As a result, Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) was introduced to ensure international students have adequate health care arrangements during their stay in Australia. Over Seas Health Cover ensures international students can access appropriate health care without undue financial hardship. Additionally, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIBP) requires all holders of a student visa to maintain Over Seas Health Cover. DIBP advises that international students who do not maintain their OSHC may have their visas cancelled. The College has entered into an agreement with OSHC Worldcare as the preferred provider of OSHC to commencing international students. After the first 12 months of membership, students are able to transfer to another OSHC provider. You can also purchase visa length health insurance coverage. Information about other registered OSHC providers is available on the Department of Health website.
It is a condition of your student visa that you always have valid health cover. It is your responsibility to renew your health cover when it expires if you are covered by OSHC Worldcare's OSHC, you can do this online or at any OSHC Worldcare branch.
If you have opted for ECA Graduate Institute to arrange the OSHC for you the policy will start from the date of your arrival in Australia, and your membership card will be available for collection when you enrol (or shortly thereafter).