Overseas Student Health Cover

The OSHC is insurance to assist international students meet the costs of medical and hospital care that they may need while in Australia.

OSHC pays limited benefits for pharmaceuticals and ambulance services.

The Department of Home Affairs requires overseas students to maintain OSHC for the duration of time they are in Australia.

There are exceptions to this rule; some students do not need to take out OSHC. These include Norwegian students covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme, Swedish students covered by Kammarkollegiet and Belgian students covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.

Both the Department of Health and the Department of Home Affairs websites carry information and FAQs on OSHC.

Five OSHC providers operate in Australia. These are:

Students with issues and grievances relating to their OSHC can contact the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO). The PHIO provides a free independent service to help consumers with health insurance problems and enquiries. The PHIO can deal with complaints from health fund members, health funds, private hospitals or medical practitioners. Complaints must be about a health insurance arrangement.

A number of reports containing data on OSHC complaints and issues are available on the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s website.