Your OSHC Questions,

Got questions? Great! We’ve answered the OSHC FAQs we hear most often below. If yours isn’t covered, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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OSHC Basics

Yes. Your student visa requires you to have OSHC for the length of your stay in Australia. Australian citizens are insured by Medicare, the country’s national health insurance program, which covers a substantial portion of the expenses associated with healthcare services. Medicare does not cover foreign students, so you’re reliant on OSHC to access medical treatment without incurring costly bills and financial hardship.

International students who hold Visa Sub-Class 500 can (and must) buy OSHC.

Yes, you do! If you are in Australia on a student visa from the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Slovenia, Italy, or New Zealand, you can also apply for Medicare under your country’s Reciprocal Health Care Agreements. Any Medicare coverage you are entitled to under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement will be in addition to OSHC. But having reciprocal access to Medicare does not exempt you from needing to take out OSHC.

Core OSHC across all the providers is pretty much the same. The minimum requirements of an OSHC policy are set out in the OSHC Deed.

You must acquire OSHC for the term of your student visa and any additional period of your student visa grant.

If your course is longer than 10 months and finishes at the end of the Australian academic year (November or December), you are required to have OSHC until 15 March of the following year.

If your course is longer than 10 months and finishes between January and October, your visa will usually be granted for two months longer than the duration of your course. For example, if your course completion date as per your Offer Letter and Confirmation of Enrolment is in July, your OSHC must cover you until 15 September.

Yes, if you were on a student visa before receiving your bridging visa, you need to continue your OSHC.

If you both have separate student visas, you may purchase two single policies. However, if you are dependent on your partner who is on a student visa, you will need to get pair insurance. 

If you buy two single policies by making a false declaration to the insurance company, you might put yourself at risk of your claims not being assessed.

OSHC Terms

A pre-existing ailment is a pre-existing condition, disease, or ailment that occurred in the six months before you were granted a visa or arrived in Australia – whichever came first. A medical practitioner or a practising doctor determines whether a problem is pre-existing.

From the day you arrive in Australia or were granted your visa – whichever is the most recent – you are required to serve the relevant waiting period before your claims can be assessed for treatments which have a waiting period condition on them.

Inpatient care requires a patient to remain in a hospital for one or more days to treat a severe illness or trauma. Outpatient care is when a patient is treated at a hospital but does not need to be hospitalised. Having X-rays, ultrasounds and blood tests, GP visits, and having a consultation with a specialist are common outpatient procedures.

Outside of the hospital, if you need dental or physiotherapy, it will be included in your extras cover. OSHC does not include extras cover and it is not mandatory. You can purchase it separately from your insurer of choice, if you wish.

OSHC Coverage

Visits to the doctor, certain hospital care, limited medicines, ambulance coverage, some prosthetic equipment, and access to private hospitals and day operations are all covered under basic OSHC. Basic OSHC does not cover dental, optical, or physiotherapy etc.

No. Your costs are partially covered, but not entirely. OSHC will, in most instances, pay a significant part of the expenses. Unless it’s an emergency situation, we recommend contacting your OSHC provider prior to visiting your doctor or hospital so you know if there will be any out-of-pocket expenses involved.

Most likely, no. An insurance company may offer you OSHC for the backdated period to meet your visa compliance but may not assess your claims from the past. It is always best to seek information from your OSHC provider.

Purchasing and Renewing OSHC

Absolutely! Your OSHC allows you to easily compare and select the best OSHC provider for your circumstances and finalise your purchase through our platform. The good news? It doesn’t cost you anything extra to purchase your OSHC through us.

You can renew your OSHC on the Your OSHC platform

If you forget to renew your OSHC, you are breaching your visa conditions and are without health cover – putting you at risk of costly medical bills. You might also be asked to pay the premiums for the lapsed period before any future visa applications are assessed and will not be entitled to any benefits for any claims made during this time.

Yes, you can. You are allowed to change your OSHC provider at any time. However, your current OSHC provider will need a reason and supporting document/s to terminate your policy and process refunds. Some providers charge an admin fee for processing refunds, so please check with your OSHC provider.

OSHC Claims

This differs for each OSHC provider. Claims can usually be made by calling your provider directly, or through your provider’s online platform or app if they have one.

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