Getting healthcare in Australia as an overseas student is easier than you think! Before buying an insurance plan, you should know all your options. This handy guide will help you get the most value for your money and ensure that your best interests are covered!
What is OSHC?
OSHC, or the Overseas Student Health Cover, is designed to help international students meet all medical costs during their time in Australia. Local students, on the other hand, are covered by Medicare under the national healthcare system.
Why Do You Need It?
International students from countries other than Belgium, Norway, and Sweden will need to purchase OSHC before arriving in Australia. It’s a legal requirement by the Dept. of Home Affairs to secure a student visa.
What Does It Cover?
All OSHC plans cover some basic amenities. These include visiting a general practitioner, ambulance service, surgery, hospital stay in shared wards, some prosthetic devices, and medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Some plans may also cover physiotherapy, dental, and optical treatments.
Where Can You Get It?
Several private insurers offer OSHC to overseas students. The most popular are the Australian Health Management, BUPA Australia, Medibank Private, and Allianz Global. Many universities also partner with insurance providers, so you can directly set up your OSHC through them. However, it’s not mandatory to opt for your university’s recommendation. So if you find a better plan, go for it!
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of insurance depends upon the extent of coverage. On an average, you will shell out $477 each year. If you’re moving to Australia with a partner and/or kids, you can opt for dual or multi-family plans instead. The first will cover either a partner or children below 18 years. The multi-family plan covers multiple dependents.
How Do You Use It?
When you get medical treatment in Australia, you have two options. You can either send the unpaid bill directly to your insurance provider, or pay it yourself and apply for a reimbursement. When buying medicines, you have to pay the chemist first before claiming the money back from your OSHC provider.