As a student in Australia, you are required to have health insurance for the full duration of that visa. We have answered some of the most common questions that our students have asked us about the health insurance that they will need as part of the student visa process. Hopefully, the following information will assist you to better understand your health insurance obligations as an international student:

Will I need to get a private Health Insurance policy when I study in Australia?

Yes.  As an international student in Australia, you will be required to have an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) policy for the entire duration of your student visa. International students, and their dependents (for example, spouses and children under 18 years old), must obtain OSHC. You will need to show proof that you have an OSHC policy when you apply for your student visa.

If you are a citizen of either Norway, Sweden or Belgium you may be exempt from having to purchase an OSHC policy.

What is covered by an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) policy?

OSHC is a broad general health insurance policy that exists to assist international students to meet the costs of:

  • Out of hospital medical treatment
  • In-hospital medical treatment
  • Prescription Medicines
  • Emergency ambulance assistance

If you want to obtain additional cover for items such as dental, physiotherapy, podiatry consultations and optical you can elect to purchase an additional private health insurance policy to cover these additional items.

When will my OSHC insurance policy need to start & finish?

Policy Start Date

You will need to hold a valid OSHC policy from the date that your student visa is granted. This may require that your policy begins before you travel to Australia to commence your course.

If you are overseas when you purchase your insurance policy and pay, the insurer will ask you to nominate a date of arrival. This date will be the date that your policy will begin. If your arrival date changes or is delayed you will be able to ask your insurer to change the start date of your policy.

If you are already in Australia with a student visa and are changing insurance providers, then your start date of the policy will be the day after your current OSHC policy expires.

If you are in Australia with another visa type such as a visitor visa or work and holiday then the start date of your policy should be the date that you lodge your student visa application.

Finish Date

As an international student, you must make sure that your OSHC does not expire while you are in Australia. If your OSHC policy expires you will breach your student visa conditions and risk having your student visa cancelled by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).

Your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) must cover the entire duration of your student visa. The last day of your student visa will depend on the duration of your course and on the time of the year that your course will finish. If your course is less than ten months your visa will usually expire one month after the course finishes. If it is more than ten months it may expire either 2 months later or on 15 March the following year.

Duration of coverAdd to your course end date
10 months or less1 month
Over 10 months ending between January and October2 months
Over 10 months ending in November or DecemberSelect 15th March of the next year

If you are unsure of the expiry date that you need to nominate in your OSHC policy, feel free to Contact Us and we will help you purchase an OSHC policy with the correct dates.

Can I pay for my OSHC insurance in monthly installments?

No. Your insurer will require that you purchase your entire OSHC policy upfront. You need to purchase a policy that covers the entire period of your student visa so that you can provide the DHA with a valid OSHC certificate when you lodge your student visa application.

In the unlikely event, you needed to leave Australia before completing your studies the insurer would refund the remaining portion of your OSHC policy from the date that you depart Australia.

Will I be covered by my OSHC policy if I take a trip outside Australia during a study break?

No, your OSHC will only cover you for medical and hospital treatments while you are in Australia. If you take a trip outside Australia you should obtain additional travel insurance for these trips.

Which insurance companies offer OSHC?

You can choose to purchase your OSHC from one of 6 insurance companies:

  • ahm OSHC
  • Allianz Global Assistance (Peoplecare Health)
  • BUPA Australia
  • CBHS International Health
  • Medibank Private
  • NIB OSHC

Can I add my partner and/or children to my OSHC policy?

Yes. If you are planning to travel to study in Australia with your immediate family (i.e spouse or children) they will also need to be covered by an OSHC policy. To do this you will need to purchase a Dual Family or Multiple Family OSHC policy that covers every person that will be included in the student visa application.

Any adult dependents must be included in your OSHC policy. If you purchase an additional single OSHC policy for an adult dependant instead of a couples policy and your dependant needs to make a claim on the additional policy the insurer may refuse to cover your dependant on the basis that your dependant is not a primary visa applicant, enrolled in an Australian course and that you should have taken out a couples policy.

How do I purchase my OSHC policy?

As part of your student visa application process, your dedicated education agents will facilitate the purchase of your OSHC with your preferred insurer.  The education agent will make sure that the cover that you purchase is correct and compliant with the student visa requirements to ensure that your student visa is granted without any unnecessary delay.

Feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions about how to obtain your OSHC policy.