Overseas Student Health Cover

As an International Student, it is a condition of your student visa (Visa Condition Number 8501) that you have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your stay in Australia.

OSHC is insurance that provides cover for the costs of medical and hospital care which international students may need while in Australia. OSHC is mandatory for international student visa holders. OSHC will also cover the cost of emergency ambulance transport and most prescription drugs.

How do I get OSHC? 

You will be asked for an OSHC payment in the education offer package you receive from Australian Centre of English. Australian Centre of English uses the services of a reputable health insurance provider called BUPA. BUPA’s fees are included in the Student Enrolment Form and you should complete this section of the form when applying to study at Australian Centre of English. Australian Centre of English will make an application to BUPA on your behalf. An OSHC card will be available shortly after you arrive at Australian Centre of English.

If you do not wish Australian Centre of English to arrange OSHC on your behalf through BUPA, you may choose another OSHC provider and make an application. Only Australian health funds that have signed an agreement with the Australian Government can provide OSHC.

OSHC Providers
Medibank Private: www.medibank.com.au
AHM:                      www.ahm.com.au
OSHC Allianz:       www.oshcallianzassistance.com.au

You may also take out additional cover in the form of Extra OSHC. Some students may be exempt from enrolling in the OSHC such as students from countries whose Governments may have Reciprocal Health Agreements for students in Australia.

Note: only some reciprocal health agreements cover students in Australia, some will only cover visitors.  You should determine if you are eligible before you apply for your visa to come to Australia.

Further information on OSHC can be found on the DIBP website.

If you come to Australia on a visa other than a student visa and undertake a short course of study of three months duration or less you will not be eligible for OSHC. It is wise to purchase travel or private medical insurance in this case.

What am I covered for? 

OSHC provides a safety net for medical expenses for international students, similar to that provided to Australians through the Australian Government’s Medicare system. OSHC provides medical insurance such as doctor, X-ray, pathology services, and hospital services, additional benefits for prescription medicines and conditional emergency ambulance cover. OSHC provides extra services specifically tailored for international students which include 24 hour medical advice, interpreter services and legal advice.

Note: OSHC does not cover dental, physiotherapy, optometry, podiatry, chiropractic or private hospital services. If you have any question about OSHC you can talk to our Student Services Officer.

How do I use my OSHC card?

If you need to visit a doctor or medical centre, show your card at the end of the visit.  You will be charged the doctor’s fee and the government fee component or that may be processed by the medical centre.  If the medical centre is not able to process the government fee, pay the total amount, keep the receipt and you can claim the government fee back from your OSHC provider.

How do I make a claim? 

To claim back money from your health insurance, you will need to go to the OSHC provider and fill out a claim form along with your proof of payment. You can obtain the OSHC provider address from Student Services at Australian Centre of English.

Renewal information

It is your responsibility to ensure that you maintain your OSHC throughout your stay in Australia – Do not let your OSHC expire. When you renew the OSHC you will need to show your provider the following items:

o    Membership card

o    Passport

o    A copy of your e-CoE which confirms that you are continuing your studies.

Taking holidays during your study

If you take a holiday and leave Australia during your period of study, you may get credit on your OSHC insurance policy for the period that you spent outside Australia. For example, if your OSHC cover finishes in March 2011 and you travel back to your home country on holidays for two weeks in December 2010, then you can claim two weeks credit to your OSHC cover. You must show proof of your holiday, e.g. passport stamp or air ticket to get this credit.

For more information about the services of Australian Centre of English’s OSHC provider, BUPA, visit the link to their website: BUPA