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What is OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover)?
Australia has a special system of health cover for International students which is called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). You will need to buy OSHC before you come to Australia to cover you from when you arrive. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship requires you to maintain OSHC for the duration of your time on a student visa in Australia. This cover will help you gain access to healthcare services, medical aid, hospitals, and such, whenever you need – in case of a medical emergency or lack thereof. You will need to show this OSHC before you will be granted a student visa, so it is mandatory requirement for international student.
How do I become eligible to get an OSHC?
If you are an overseas student, then you are eligible for an OSHC. To be an overseas student, you must be:
- someone who holds a Student visa, or
- is a student visa applicant, and
- is a bridging visa holder, and
- used to be a student visa holder right before being granted the bridging visa.
A spouse, de facto, child or stepchild (who is unmarried and younger than 18 years) can get a policy cover, as long as the policy applies to that family plan (which would include multifamily policies and dual family with effect from 1 January 2012). If such a person ceases to be a Dependant for the purposes of OSHC, he or she will need to seek other health insurance options.
What does an OSHC cover?
The extent of the OSHC coverage depends on the health insurance purchased. The fine print of the insurance policy document will help understand what the specific costs are covered under a policy. An OSHC policy generally covers: Medical Costs, Hospital Costs, Ambulance service costs, Limited Pharmaceutical costs.
At a minimum, OSHC policies must cover the following:
- the benefit amount listed in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee for out-of-hospital medical services (for example, a general practitioner)
- 100 per cent of the MBS fee for in-patient medical services (for example, surgery)
- public hospital shared ward accommodation
- private hospital shared ward accommodation (only for hospitals that have contractual arrangements with the overseas student’s health insurer)
- day surgery accommodation
- some prosthetic devices
- pharmaceutical benefits up to $50 per pharmaceutical item to a maximum of $300 a year for a single membership ($600 for a family membership). Overseas students may face significant out of pocket costs if they do not have appropriate coverage for treatment with pharmaceuticals, particularly oncology (cancer) treatment.
- ambulance services.
What does an OSHC policy doesn't cover?
A bare minimum standard policy or an OSHC basic policy does not cover for Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Chiropractic treatments, Dental and Orthodontics treatments Optical treatment – including contact lenses and eye glass prescriptions One can purchase an OSHC extras policy if they need extra coverage for the above treatment purposes.
OSHC policies cannot cover the following expenses:
- arranged before coming to Australia
- needed while travelling to or from Australia
- transportation of an overseas student or dependent into or out of Australia for any reason
- covered by provisions for compensation and damages.
- Students must obtain OSHC cover for the duration of their proposed student visa. If you extend your visa, you must renew your OSHC policy.
What will my OSHC Provider pay for my GP visits?
All OSHC insurance providers pay towards the GP costs. OSHC covers 100% of the MBS fee for GP/doctor services. i.e., if you visit a doctor, who charges as per the MBS schedule, then your overseas student health insurance will cover 100% of the cost of the doctor visit. If the doctor you visit is charging more than set fee prescribed by the MBS, then the extra fee is called a gap fee. OSHC providers do not cover gap fee. The gap fee is then paid by the student.
Do I need to have overseas student health insurance while extending my visa?
You must have OSHC cover for the whole time you are here on a student visa or bridging visa, and you must prepay for OSHC cover for the length of your visa before you come to Australia. If you extend your visa, you must renew your OSHC policy.
Do I need to purchase OSHC for my spouse of family?
If your family is coming overseas with you, your spouse (husband or wife) and children must also be covered by OSHC cover. If you decide that your chosen OSHC cover is too expensive or does not cover what you want, you can switch to a different insurance provider, as long as your cover with them matches the length of your visa.
How long would I need to be covered by an OSHC?
As long as you hold a student visa, you would need an OSHC for the duration of your visa. This is according to the visa requirement that came into effect on 1 July 2010. In case the proposed duration of your visa gets extended, you will have to get your health cover renewed as well. And you will need to be covered for the whole duration of your stay in Australia as long as you hold a student visa. Same condition applies when you have spouse and or children as your dependents.
Can I change my current OSHC provider?
You can transfer to a different OSHC insurance company anytime. If you paid in advance for your OHSC cover, you can get a refund, but you may have to pay a ‘refund processing fee’. You must buy a new OSHC insurance policy before you can get a refund from your previous OSHC provider, because you must have insurance for the whole time you are in Australia on a student visa. You will not have to serve the waiting periods again after you change OSHC providers.
How do I pay the premium?
You can make your payment in the currency of your choice via debit/credit card, our online portal, direct bank transfer, or Fly Wire if you are overseas. Or you could ask the specific insurance provider for any other payment methods they might encourage if any.
How do I make a claim?
You will have to contact your health insurance provider and check the procedure of making a claim with them. For your information, some providers provide online portal where you can upload your receipt there and they will process your claim.
When does the cover start giving benefits, and when does it expire?
In the policy certificate there will be start and end date of your cover. Make sure that you are covered at all times during your stay in Australia.
How to renew my OSHC?
You will need to necessarily renew your OSHC in case it expires while you are still on your student visa. Any failure to do so will have serious consequences and if you are not covered while having accidents or need medical attention you can be in serious problem. You can contact us to assist you to renew your OSHC policy weather it is single, couple, dual family or family.
What happens if I forget to renew my OSHC?
It is of utmost importance that you don’t forget to renew your OSHC, in case it expires before your student visa does. If it comes into notice that you’re still on a student visa, while your OSHC has lapsed, you will have to pay the premiums for the lapsed period, while not expecting any benefits for any claims you might have paid during this lapsed period.
How to buy OSHC from Insurance Booking?
✓ Paying online through our site is the easiest way to pay for Your OSHC
✓ Comprehensive payment protection
✓ Premium customer service that is available 24/7
✓ Security deposit protection to help you recover your deposit if it’s wrongfully withheld.
✓ Pay through our online platform with Visa, Mastercard, or American Express or you can do EFT.
How should I contact you?
You can contact us via the following options.
?+61 424 770 990 (WhatsApp)
☎️ +61 2 8964 8826
? Video conferencing (via zoom)
? Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What insurance do I need if I am on a bridging visa?
If you were on a student visa immediately before being on the current bridging visa, then it OSHC would be the insurance you need. In case you are not sure, as for how long you had needed an insurance for, you can purchase a cover for 1-year validity. You can always cancel this policy and a get a refund on the term period left of your OSHC policy, if you get your new visa before the OSHC expires. In the case that you need a 485 visa, you will need a special type of insurance in order to prove that you have a health insurance at all. You will have to see whether an OVHC policy covers it or not, because all of them don’t do.
I have only one child and no adults - what do I do?
If your child hasn’t turned 18 years of age yet, you can get them covered under your OSHC. But if you have a child above 18 years old who is dependent on you, they will need another health insurance.
Would I be eligible to buy a single policy even if I am a Dependent on someone else's student visa?
You can buy 2 single policies, if you both have separate student visas. But you would have to buy a couple policy in case you are dependent on someone else who is on student visa. Insurers usually price a couple policy at a higher price than 2 singles policies, as couples and families they say, usually have a lot of claims that singles. To take that risk factor into account, the couples policy tends to be more expensive. Moreover, when buying insurance there is always a question “Are you the primary holder of a student visa?” there might be consequences for misleading information in the future.
Do you need health insurance to visit Australia?
Overseas visitors are not eligible for health benefits or free treatment in public hospitals in Australia. This means, if any unfortunate situation happens, visitors has to pay for the treatment which can be really expensive.
An appropriate level of health insurance helps to cover the costs of:
- Medical treatment when you are in hospital
- Ambulance transport
- Everyday health expenses including the consultation and treatment from specialists
- It also helps to meet your visa health insurance condition 8501.
- Some visas require you to provide evidence of adequate health insurance before The Department of Home Affairs grants the visa. The Department of Home Affairs might ask you to provide a copy of a health insurance policy for you and any additional applicants applying for the visa with you. Check the requirements of the visa you are applying for.
What are Preferred Providers?
Many universities and education providers have a preferred provider deal with a specific insurer. Whilst every student has choice in which OSHC provider they use, we found that many students went with the default option, either because they wanted the simplest option, or because they were unaware that they had choice.
What are the benefits of going with a preferred provider?
Some of the benefits of taking your policy with the preferred provider include:
- On campus claiming. If you would rather not claim online, preferred providers often have an office on one campus of universities they have partnered with.
- Bulk billing on campus. If you need to visit a General Practitioner (GP), in some instances the on-campus GP will bulk bill for clients of the preferred provider.
- Altered policy conditions. Some OSHC providers may have a preferred provider arrangement with an educational institution where they offer a specific policy.
- You should confirm who the preferred provider is for your university and investigate any extra benefits they may provide to students when you compare OSHC policies. Then you should decide whether those extra benefits outweigh the cost differential of the policies offered by the preferred partner.
What does the term 'Pre-existing Ailment' mean?
If you suffer from a medical condition (any illness or an ailment), that showed its symptoms during the six-month period before you were granted a visa, or you arrived in Australia – whichever happened earlier – it would be considered a pre-existing ailment for you. Whether or not a condition pre-existing or not is decided by a medical practitioner or a practicing doctor.
What does the term 'Waiting Period' mean?
From the date you arrive in Australia or the day you were granted your visa – starting from whichever of these days is most recent, you need to wait some time before you’re eligible to make a claim through your OVHC or OSHC policy. This time period between you spend before making your claim, is known a waiting period.
What is the difference between hospital and extra cover?
Hospital cover includes inpatient treatment which requires admittance to hospital. Extra cover includes all the treatments covered outside of hospital such as consultations from the specialists, dentistry or physiotherapy.
What is the difference between inpatient care and outpatient care?
Inpatient care refers to a medical treatment for serious ailments or trauma that requires a patient to stay in a hospital for one or more days. While an outpatient care is something where a patient is treated at the hospital but does not require to be admitted. It may be getting X-rays or being kept under general observation.
If I have a Reciprocal Medicare Card, do I still need to purchase health insurance?
If you belong from the country which has reciprocal health care agreement with Australia, you are entitled to some subsidized health services with Medicare. You may be able to receive immediate necessary treatment in the public health care system but would not be eligible to benefits. Hence, you must consider getting an OVHC for the duration of your stay in Australia.
What should I know before going to hospital with any health insurance coverage?
To get the most of your cover, you must know whether:
- You are covered for that particular treatment or not
- You are required to pay additional
- You have any waiting periods or exclusions
- Your hospital is under contracted list of hospital
Can I change my level of cover?
Yes, you can change your insurance provider at any time. However, if you want to switch to a higher level of cover, you need to serve the relevant waiting period before making any claims. The same is also applicable when you choose a policy that has lower co-payments or gap fees. If you are not regular with your payments, you need to check with your new insurer before changing the level of cover.
What If I become the permanent resident or Australian citizen of Australia?
You then become eligible for complete access to the Australian public health system and have the option to shift from visitor health insurance to domestic policy. However, you need to notify your insurer immediately to ensure getting an appropriate form of cover.
How does Insurance Booking works?
Our services are divided into two categories. First, we offer a comparison where you can transparently compare health insurance plans and prices. Then we make sure your chosen insures process your application fairly and quickly.
How can I compare different health insurance policies?
You can visit our website: www.insurancebooking.com.au fill up the necessary information and choose the type of plan you need to compare then decide the best one that match your budget and lifestyle.
What kind of benefits you can expect upon purchasing an insurance policy from Insurance Booking?
Peace of mind, huge saving, secure transaction, and fast turn-around time are the benefits you can get by purchasing insurance from us. We chose to only be partnered with leading insurance companies in Australia to ensure you meeting the visa requirements and always be covered at all times. Your health and well-being are our top priority. Furthermore, our client can enjoy $35 OFF for their IELTS booking through us, 50% OFF on migration consultation with our Registered Migration Agent and FREE education consultation with our qualified education counsellors.
How long after registration, does one receive the policy certificate?
As soon as the said insurance company receives your payment, they send you your insurance policy certificate or document via email. Therefore, if you’ve made your payment digitally, through credit card that is, you will find your policy certificate in your mailbox, in a few hours. But, in case you choose to change the date of your current policy, or choose to extend it, you may have to wait 24-48 business hours before you can get your updated policy document.
What happens if I decide to cancel my current insurance policy?
If you decide to cancel your insurance policy, while you are staying in Australia, while failing to purchase a new one at the same time, you will have failed to comply with the 8501 Condition. Your visa will, therefore, be subjected to cancellation. Furthermore, such an incident is bound to have a negative effect on the processing of any future visa applications of yours.
What is OVHC?
OVHC stands for Overseas Visitors Health Insurance Cover designed for international visitors willing to travel and work in Australia.
How long do I need OVHC?
The Department of Home Affairs requires to have a continuous OVHC for the entire length of your stay in Australia.
Who is covered under an OVHC policy?
OVHC policy is divided into three categories:
Single: providing coverage only for the overseas visitor
Dual family: cover the overseas visitor along with adult spouse or de facto partner or one or more children/stepchildren under 18 years of age.
Multi-family: cover the overseas visitor and more than one dependent who can either be adult spouse, de facto partner, or children/stepchildren.
When does my health insurance begin and end?
Your health insurance cover begins from the day you arrive in Australia or the day your visa is granted (whichever is later). It expires on the same day with your visa as long as you continue to pay your regular instalments.
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