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OSHC or Overseas Health Insurance: A Quick Look

OSHC or Overseas Health Insurance: A Quick Look
cal LiveWebTutors cal 27 Jan, 2020

Overseas Student Health Cover or OSHC is standard health insurance coverage for International students who wish to study in Australia. This insurance coverage is designed for helping international students to meet their medical and hospital-care costs when they study in Australia. It is a mandatory requirement.

International students need to purchase their AISHC or Australian International Student Health Insurance. International students need to have OSHC for the entire period of their stay in Australia. There are other types of Insurance as well which can be useful to them.

What does it cover?

Not only the overseas students taking formal education in Australia but their dependents like children, spouses, or any other student also need to be covered under OSHC. The cover includes visits to the doctor, ambulance, hospital treatment, and pharmaceutical drugs, etc.

OSHC insurers can offer a wide range of different types of OSHC products right from the basic one that covers the compulsory services to the comprehensive products covering the minimum services that are mandatory and the extra services (whatever is mentioned in the policy).

*As per the directive of the Department of Home Affairs, International students need to maintain this coverage throughout their period of stay in Australia.

Who Should Have OSHC?

This is a Government mandate and hence this insurance coverage is a necessity for all International students. According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, all the students carrying a visa and their dependent accomplices in Australia should be covered by OSHC for a full stay all through their period of stay in Australia.

There are certain exceptions to this rule:

  • For Belgian Students (they do not need OSHC as they are covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement)
  • Swedish Students (do not need OSHC coverage as they are covered under Kammar Kollegiet or the National Board of Student Air. If they are not covered by these policies then they have to buy OSHC.
  • Norwegian Students (they do not need OSHC since they are covered by NNIS or Norwegian National Insurance Scheme)

Who Buys OSHC?

OSHC is bought by the educational institute that you choose to study in but you can go in for choosing an OSHC-approved service provider and pay for the insurance cover yourself. Irrespective of the fact who buys this policy, the insured has to maintain the cover all through his/her period of stay in Australia. All the educational institutions in Australia have the right to organize OSHC cover for their International students.

Which Insurance Providers Offer OSHC?

At present, there are 5 insurers that offer OSHC that can be bought either through the academic institution or on your own:

These are the insurance providers offering OSHC:-

  • BUPA Australia
  • Australian Health Management
  • Nib OSHC
  • Medibank Private
  • Allianz Global Assistance

What is covered by OSHC?

OSHC insurance plan is designed for providing health coverage to overseas students who want to seek treatment at hospitals, medical clinics, or elsewhere. The cover differs according to the plan you choose to buy and hence it is important to be in touch with the OSHC service provider to make sure that you get the cover that you require.

Students can ask for the waiting periods, for any limitations or riders on the plan, and for the exclusions if there are any. OSHC insurance plan would not entail any coverage for the health treatment done in advance of arrival to Australia. It does not cover transportation costs into and out of Australia. It does not cover any optical, physiotherapy, or dental treatments also.

If you are just a private student, an OSHC insurance policy would cover 100% of the MBS or Medicare Benefits Schedule fee for all the services given by surgeons, radiologists, and pathologists, etc.

Is it good to consider buying a complimentary plan?

If you want to be covered for these treatments, you will have to buy another insurance private insurance plan which is known as Australian International Student Health Insurance Plan. Besides, if you are looking for repatriation of the remains plan or a standalone emergency medical evaluation, you need to look for another insurance plan. So, it is good to have a complimentary plan along with OSHC.

All medical bills are covered by OSHC. But all who want their emergency travel covered can go in for Australian International Health Insurance along with OSHC. It covers all your expenses when the OSHC plan stops. Prices on the travel medical plans are rated daily and candidates can apply online.

You can apply for OSHC online. Once you complete your application you would be asked to provide proof of payment and a confirmation that OSHC coverage has started with your arrival in Australia.

Is Private Health Insurance Coverage Necessary Along With OSHC?

There are times when people want to opt for private health insurance to cover all those items that an OSHC does not cover. Like OSHC, private health insurance coverage can opt for you, your family members, and your dependents. It is important to note that the advantages of insurance and the membership costs vary widely and hence you need to make sure that the one you have chosen should be suitable to your needs.

How Much Would OSHC Cost?

The cost of the OSHC depends on the level of coverage you opt for buying. As per Canstar’s research, the barest minimum to be paid is $438 per year for the singles and $2,685 per year for the couple’s coverage. Family cover costs $4,026 per year.

What are the Other Insurance Coverage Worth Considering Besides OSHC?

Apart from opting for OSHC, there are certain other insurance plans which should be chosen as a complement to OSHC.

These are:
  • Travel Insurance:- Though Australia has dependable tourism but cases of unplanned issues, lost luggage and canceled flights cannot be ruled out. If you want to travel with your precious belongings and have a travel schedule you can opt for travel insurance which can cover contingencies like cancelled flights.

 This type of insurance can be arranged with the help of different types of insurance service providers including airlines, travel insurance companies, booking companies, etc.

  • Home Insurance:- This insurance covers the premises in which you live and all your possessions like appliances, clothes, furniture, and other possessions. If you have a rented property buying this insurance is the onus of your homeowner. However, this insurance should be considered if you have some valuables or precious belongings that you cannot afford to replace in case of any untoward accident.
  • Vehicle Insurance:- If you want to buy a car or a motorbike or any other vehicle in Australia, you need to consider buying this type of insurance. It depends on what territory or state of Australia you are living in, there would be some sort of compulsory insurance for vehicles. For instance, if you are living in NSW you have to buy Compulsory Third Party Insurance that covers all the personal injuries caused due to some kind of accident.

You need to check with the concerned Government department or agencies in the state or territory of your choice. You can opt for buying vehicle insurance covering your cars against any type of accidental or malicious damage like storm, flood, or fire.

There are a number of insurance providers in Australia that can offer vehicle insurance. You need to consider what your specific requirements are before you consider buying vehicle insurance.

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