Is OSHC mandatory for international students in Australia?

The Australian Government requires every overseas traveller to have suitable private health insurance while they are in Australia, in the event of any incidents or adversities. When you have private health insurance, it’s kind of like having a first aid kit – you might not know when or if you’ll use it, but it’s handy when you actually do need it. You may have heard of the term “OSHC”, especially if you are an international student wanting to study in Australia. So, you might want to read the following to learn more about it, and why you need it.

If you’re planning on starting your education in Australia, it’s vital to ensure that you’ve got your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) sorted.  OSHC stands for Overseas Student Health Cover and is a type of medical insurance cover that assists with paying for medical bills, prescription medicines, and ambulance cover in emergency situations. The absence of arranging for private health insurance for yourself and any other dependents (such as your spouse/partner and/or dependent children), is a direct breach of Condition 8501 on your Student Visa.

Allianz, Bupa, AHM, NIB, CBHS Health Fund, and Medibank are legally approved by the Federal Government of Australia to provide OSHC insurance for international students whilst they are living and studying in Australia.

OSHC insurance covers:

1. Out of hospital medical treatment includes:

  • General practitioner (GP)
  • Telehealth
  • Specialists
  • Pathology and X-rays

2. In-hospital treatment includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Accident and Emergency Services
  • Outpatient and postoperative care
  • Doctor services

3. Other covered services include:

  • Emergency ambulance services
  • Surgically implanted prosthesis
  • Prescription medicines

Note that depending on your selected OSHC provider, covers for some services may range between 85% to 100%.

Whilst OSHC is a great cover for emergency situations for international students, it does not pay for general treatment (ancillary, or extras cover) such as dental, optical, physiotherapy, chirotherapy, podiatry, etc. However, these can always be included if you decide to purchase extra services on your private health cover plan.

In light of the pandemic in recent years, OSHC now includes cover for Coronavirus (COVID-19) related illnesses, focusing on “Lung and Chest”, “Kidney and Bladder” and “Dialysis for chronic kidney failure” clinical categories.

Essentially, there are 2 ways to make sure your OSHC is sorted.

  1. You can do it yourself,  by directly getting in contact with the Australian Health Providers who offer Student Health Covers, or
  2. On occasion, your Education Provider or Agent may help with coordinating this on your behalf.

Although it’s not a requirement for your Education provider or Agent to arrange this for you, it gives you a great sense of relief when they do! Luckily for you, the amazing Enrolment Team at VEVS Global Nepal always goes above and beyond for our international students and will take care of this with Health Providers to sort this out – so that you can get ready for your journey to Australia with no stress. We understand that any extra time on your hands is precious, whether it’s to spend it with family, friends, or even for one last meal at your favourite restaurant! We make sure that you are prepared for your trip, and will never leave anything last minute. Here at VEVS Global Nepal, we have been working with BUPA Insurance throughout the years, and are advocates for their amazing services – we can’t recommend it enough! Their offerings include a range of services that are applicable to the OSHC standard, and most importantly, offer the minimum cover to make sure you meet condition 8501 on your student visa.

From there,  there is a range of covers you can select from providing varying levels of medical and hospital cover for Student visa holders and their dependents. It’s totally up to you if you decide to opt for a cover with extra benefits, or just enough to meet OSHC and student visa requirements. Our Enrolments Team will work with you to examine and determine the most suitable and competitively priced OSHC cover, to last throughout the entire period of your stay in Australia. That way, you can arrive in Australia safely, knowing that our team has covered everything for you. From deciding which course is the best fit for your personal goals, to selecting the more prestigious institution, managing enrolments and student visa applications, and all the matters in between. Because with VEVS Global Nepal, you never have to worry – you’re always in safe hands.

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