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Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

What is OSHC?

OSHC is health insurance to assist international students meet the costs of medical and hospital care that they may need while in Australia. OSHC will also pay limited benefits for pharmaceuticals and ambulance services.

Who has to take out OSHC?OSHC overseas student health cover

People who must take out OSHC are overseas students undertaking formal studies in Australia and their dependents (for example, spouses and children under 18 years old).

For the purposes of OSHC, ‘overseas student’ means:

  • a person who is the holder of a student visa; or
  • a person who:

– is an applicant for a student visa; and
– is the holder of a bridging visa; and
– was immediately before being granted the bridging visa, the holder of a student visa.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection requires overseas students to maintain OSHC for the duration of time they are in Australia.  For further information please visit the Department of Immigration & Border Protection website.

Who doesn’t have to take out OSHC?

Belgian, Norwegian and some Swedish students are not required to purchase OSHC as part of their visa requirements.

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

Which insurers offer OSHC?

There are currently 5 insurers who offer OSHC insurance. Evolve Migration Australia has partnerships with Allianz Global Assistance, Bupa Australia, nib and ahm (Australian Health Management) so that we can advise our clients on a variety of policies and levels of medical/hospital cover. We can generally offer cheaper policies than the advertised online price. Contact us to discuss which policy is best for you or your family needs.

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Can I take out insurance with an overseas insurer?

No. Only Australian registered private health insurers can offer OSHC. This is because the Australian Government wants to be able to monitor and regulate insurers covering people living temporarily in Australia. The Government is not able to protect the interests of people insured by overseas insurance companies in the same way.

I am ready to lodge my student visa application and need to buy OSHC. How much does it cost?

The cost of OSHC varies depending on the type of cover required and the insurance provider. Please fill in your details in the form below or contact us at enquiries@evolvemigration.com.au to discuss quotes.

How do I purchase OSHC?

You can arrange to pay for your OSHC through Evolve Migration Australia in order to access the client discount. If you are happy with our quote and wish to proceed, we will advise you on our payment methods. You retain the right to choose your own OSHC provider.

Proof of insurance

When you lodge your application, you must provide a receipt or other proof of your OSHC payment. Your OSHC must cover the full period of your visa and must be paid in advance.

Start date: the OSHC should commence when you arrive in Australia.

Finish date:

(a) if your course is longer than 10 months with a finishing date between January – October, your student visa and OSHC cover will normally be granted for 2 months longer than the duration of the course.

(b) if your course is longer than 10 months with a finishing date between November – December, your student visa and OSHC cover will normally be granted until March of the following year.

What if I have a problem with my OSHC insurer, my policy or my bill for treatment?OSHC health insurance

If you have a problem with your OSHC insurer, you can contact the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO). The PHIO provides a free independent service to help consumers with health insurance problems and enquiries.

The PHIO can deal with complaints from health fund members, health funds, private hospitals or medical practitioners. Complaints must be about a health insurance arrangement.

Phone: 1800 640 695 (within Australia)

Email: Private Health Insurance Ombudsman

Visit the PHIO website

Additional information

Department of Health website

Next steps

Return to the home page to peruse all we offer. You can also view all our visa services here. Got questions? Call us on (+61 3) 9005 1033 or drop us a line via the contact form. We’d love to hear from you.


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