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Oshc Visa

What is OSHC and why do I need it?

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is required if you are a student from overseas (with few exceptions*) on a temporary student visa. It is a condition of your visa to maintain adequate health insurance for the duration of your stay in Australia. Your visa can be cancelled if you do not maintain OSHC for the duration of the intended Student Visa period. OSHC Information


Under a Deed (a promise) made with the Australian government, OSHC policies must cover:
  1. Out-of-hospital medical services (e.g. seeing a doctor or GP) equivalent to the amount prescribed under the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS);
  2. 100% of MBS fee for in-hospital medical services (e.g. surgery, treatment by a doctor);
  3. Public hospital shared ward accommodation (staying in a public hospital in a shared ward);
  4. Surgically implanted prosthetic devices;
  5. private hospital/registered day hospital facility;
  6. Pharmacy medicines, up to $50 per medicine, with a maximum limit of $300/year for a single person (or $600/year for a family). This means you still pay part of the cost of most prescription medicines;
  7. Ambulance services.

See Clause 7 of the Deed for comprehensive details of cover.

OSHC policies do not, however, cover general treatments such as dental, optical or physiotherapy. If you require cover for these, you may choose an “Extras” package or simply supplement your OSHC cover with other insurance such as travel insurance.

Waiting Periods

There are waiting periods for certain services (excluding emergency treatments) covered under OSHC products and policies. Services and treatments covered under a person’s policy will only attract a benefit once a policy holder has served the required waiting period. Ordinarily, waiting periods include:
The waiting periods do not apply for emergency treatment, even when the treatment is for a pre-existing condition, provided it meets the definition of ‘emergency’ as set out in the Deed.

Making a Claim

The process for submitting an OSHC claim and the payment of benefits can vary depending on the insurer. Overseas students should contact their insurer for information on how to submit an OSHC claim and any processing times. Where a medical or hospital treatment is covered by the insurer, a bill or account will be issued for payment. Overseas students may choose to: pay the bill and apply for reimbursement from their insurer; or provide the unpaid bill directly to their insurer for processing.

OSHC Providers

Insurers who currently offer OSHC products and policies include:


The costs to the student associated with OSHC (premiums) will vary depending on individual Insurers and their policies, the type of cover required and the duration. The experts at East West Migration and Education Expert can potentially save you thousands so it makes sense to contact us for a quote and detailed information.

How to Purchase OSHC

There are several ways to purchase OSHC. A convenient way is through education providers and migration agents. Education providers and migration agents are permitted to recommend OSHC products. This enables education providers and migration agents to play an active role in the development of appropriate OSHC products. Education providers/migration agents are required to provide students with a copy of their OSHC policy upon sale, which should include the policy number, policy start and end date and the policy inclusions.

This is Australia can genuinely save you thousands of dollars. For example, a family policy for 26 months purchased through East West Migration and Education Expert will potentially save the student and their family over $6,000 to $7,000. That is no small saving! Contact us today to see how much money we can save you.

Other Visa

Students from these countries may not need OSHC:

OSHC Frequently Asked Questions

What is OSHC?

OSHC is Overseas Student Health Cover. Students need to purchase OSHC before they come to Australia so that they are covered when they arrive. The Department of Home Affairs requires students to maintain OSHC whilst they are in Australia on a student visa. It is a visa condition. If a student fails to hold OSHC at any time whilst on a student visa, their visa can be cancelled.

What does an OSHC policy cover?

The extent of the OSHC coverage depends on the health insurance purchased. The fine print of the insurance policy document will help students understand which specific costs are covered under a policy. An OSHC policy generally covers: medical, hospital and ambulance costs, as well as some pharmaceutical costs.

What an OSHC policy doesn’t cover?

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. Students can purchase an OSHC “Extras Policy” or ensure their travel insurance or other insurance covers the specific treatments/services they may need.

Do students need OSHC while extending their visa?

Yes. Students must have OSHC cover for the entirety of their stay in Australia on a student or bridging visa. If a student extends their visa, they must renew their OSHC policy.

Do students require OSHC if their country has a reciprocal Medicare agreement with Australia?

Yes. Having reciprocal access to Medicare does not exempt you from needing to take out OSHC, unless you are from Belgium. Swedish and Norwegian students are also exempt from OSHC.

Does OSHC cover GP visits?

Yes, OSHC covers 100% of the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee for GP services. If the GP charges more than the MBS, the student pays the difference.

What is OSHC in Australia?

OSHC stands for Overseas Student Health Cover, which is a type of health insurance required for international students studying in Australia. It provides coverage for medical expenses that may arise during the student’s stay in the country.

How Does OSHC Work?

OSHC works by providing students with access to a network of healthcare providers, such as hospitals and doctors. Students can visit these providers and receive treatment for covered medical expenses, which are then billed directly to the insurance provider. The student is responsible for paying the OSHC premium, but the cost of covered medical expenses is covered by the insurance.

Is OSHC the Same as Medicare Card?

No, OSHC is not the same as a Medicare card. Medicare is the national healthcare system in Australia and is available to Australian citizens and permanent residents. OSHC is specifically for international students and is mandatory for all students on a student visa.

What is Not Covered by OSHC?

OSHC policies generally cover things like hospital treatment, doctor visits, and prescription medications. However, there are some things that are not covered by OSHC, such as dental treatment, physiotherapy and some prescription medicines. It is important for students to understand what their policy covers before accessing healthcare services.

Can students switch OSHC providers?

Yes. Students can switch between OSHC providers at any time. Remembering that students must have cover at all times whilst in Australia, students must purchase the new policy before they cancel their old one. A refund can be obtained upon cancellation but there may be a small cancellation fee. It is also important to note that the waiting periods do not apply when students switch OSHC providers. Contact us today to switch and save $$$..

Do students need to purchase OSHC for their spouse and/or dependents?

Yes. Family policies are available. Contact us for huge savings.

Can East West Migration & Education Expert help students to save thousands of dollars?

Yes, it’s true. A simple example is that of a family policy with 2 adults and 1 child: if the policy was purchased through East West Migration & Education Expert, the savings could be over $600 to $7,000. This is genuine. Imagine having an extra $6,000 to 7,000 in your pocket? Contact us today for a new policy or even if you would like to switch your policies.

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