An uncut Guide to Australian Overseas Students Health Insurance

Allow me to begin my blog with Glen’s situation. And by the way, Glen is a student from South Africa. Like many others, he enjoys Australian culture and his college days. Like everyone, even Glen has a rundown. But now, what does our ailing friend need to do?

Enter Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC)

In a practical sense, the story doesn’t merely confine to Glen. For a majority of students from foreign lands, the very relation of sickness and an OSHC cover is a matter of query.

What are the costs of getting treated in Australia? I am incredibly fit & healthy; why do I need insurance? Wait, isn’t there Medicare? Why is an OSHC important? And more importantly, why is it compulsory?

In this blog, I shall attempt to throw some light on questions like above which students may generally have.

Before talking on OSHC, I would like to brief you on the basics of Medicare, the public healthcare system of Australia. Also, about Australia healthcare. In a nutshell, one of the USPs of Australia is the level of quality healthcare it provides to its citizens.

Also, the most basic healthcare in Australia is something which students may not expect the way it should be! Why so? If admitted with basic medical facilities and a private bed, it could cost as much as 1000 AUD for a day. Loot, is it? No. We’ll get to this part later.

Now then, the elementary question. WHY OSHC?

So, why do you need a student health insurance in Australia? Well, student visa 500, condition 8501 mandates the ‘overseas’ student and their family members to possess and maintain adequate health insurance for their entire period of stay in Australia.

If you’ve heard of the Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement (RHA) which Australia has, as part of international diplomacy with some countries, students from Belgium, Finland, Italy, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom are eligible to be covered under Medicare.

But even for them, the Medicare coverage entitled under the RHA has compulsorily been in addition to an OSHC. It is compulsory. The RHA does NOT free one from an OSHC.

The Medicare coverage a person is entitled to under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement, has to be in addition to OSHC. A reciprocal access to Medicare does not exempt one from needing to take out OSHC. However, students from Norway, Belgium and Sweden are exempted from an OSHC, if covered under certain national schemes, subject to certain conditions.

The next question. So, what does OSHC comprise of?

OSHC essentially covers 100% Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee when it comes to consultations and between 85% – 100% in cases related to pathology, radiology and specialist consultations. Also, inclusions include in – hospital and out – hospital facilities, ambulance facilities, surgically implanted prostheses, MRIs, on-campus support and access to stated prescription items. You also get access to private rooms in public or private hospitals, depending on availability.

Some benefits, for example, but not limited to dental, optic, chiropractic or physiotherapy need to be purchased with an extras OSHC.

* Certain benefits given varies from provider – to provider

Now when I told you earlier, it’s not looting, this is how it is! A total beneficial and a required tool to help you manage your health.

Now, as you know its importance, which are the best OSHC providers in the market? Where to buy them from?

The Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC) is only provided by a handful of certified health insurers.

To get the best insurance for you or your family, and as per your need, it is strongly recommended that you visit GetMyPolicy. There, you can view various plans, features, providers, prices etc. and you can even compare and choose the best plan that is precisely tailored as per your requirements. Know what you pay for! Also, get 15+ FREE PTE tests on successful purchase of an insurance.

Also, how to reimburse for your medical expenses?

I will tell you the common procedure over here, but generally, each health insurer has their own reimbursement process.

Out of Pocket Reimbursement – In this case, the student, the patient pays for his/her expense, then claims the costs with the invoices generated.

Website Reimbursement – In this case, visit your insurance provider’s website, log in, fill in the details of medical expenses, submit the claim, note down the reference number, mention the reference number of the claim, mention the same number on the invoices and then mail your health insurance provider.

Lastly, if all the above points don’t please you, without a Certificate of Enrolment and an OSHC, you wouldn’t get a visa! Also, to cement OSHC its place, the cover has to be maintained at all times, else you would be running a risk of getting your visa cancelled.

Lastly, always remember, “Health is the greatest possession.” – Laozi.