Concerning healthcare, getting an OSHC for Australia is as important as it gets. Compare and buy between different confusing OSHC plans and know what you pay for, get on the spot quotes etc. depending on the type of your visa cover.
What You Need To Know About OSHC
OSHC (Overseas Student Health Care) is insurance taken out by international students to meet hospital and medical costs while in Australia.
Who must have OSHC?
An overseas student must obtain OSHC if they are undertaking formal studies in Australia. Their dependents, such as spouse and children under 18, must also be covered.
An ‘overseas student’ means a person who is holder of a student visa or an applicant for a student visa and holder of a bridging visa immediately after being granted the student visa.
If you are required to be covered by OSHC, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship requires you to retain the insurance for the duration of your time in Australia. If you extend the length of your stay, you must renew your policy.
Who offers OSHC?
OSHC is offered by:
You may find it easier to obtain OSHC through your education provider, however you always retain the right to choose your own OSHC provider.
What does OSHC cover?
OSHC provides a safety net for international students and covers the cost of visits to the doctor, some hospital treatment, ambulance cover and limited pharmaceuticals.
However, there are a range of different OSHC products covering different services, so always read your policy and check your level of cover. Make sure you understand what services are excluded. Also note that OSHC insurers may impose waiting periods.
How much does OSHC cost?
The cost of OSHC will vary depending on the type of cover. The average cost of minimum cover is $437 for 12 months single cover, $1222 for 12 months couple cover, $1744 for 12 months single-parents cover and $2022 family cover.
When you receive a bill for medical treatment, you can either pay the bill and receive reimbursement from your insurer, or the unpaid account can be sent directly to the insurer. For pharmaceutical claims, you must pay the chemist first and then claim from the insurer.
Renewing and transferring your coverage
You can renew your cover by either contacting your insurer or your educational institution. You can transfer to a different OSHC provider but you may incur a ‘refund processing fee’.
What if I have a problem with my OSHC insurer, policy or bill?
You can contact the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO), which provides a free, independent service to help consumers with health insurance problems and enquiries. The PHIO can be reached on 1800 640 695.