As an overseas student, it is a requirement of your overseas student visa that you have OSHC when you apply for your visa and then keep it for the entire duration of your stay in Australia under the student visa.
They will not be covered under your singles policy. You should take out an OSHC family policy to cover your spouse or de-facto partner or any child or step child who is unmarried and under the age of 18. We also have Extras cover for families.
Your OSHC provider pays for the following services but please remember it is important that you should contact your provider prior to any major treatments, especially staying in the hospital.
Doctors: 100% of the Medicare Benefits Schedule fee (MBS Fee) for General Practitioners’ standard consultations (doctors may charge above the MBS Fee) and 85% of the MBS Fee for other out-of-hospital services.
Hospitals: Including accommodation, operating theatre, day services, emergency and accident services, outpatient medical and post operative services.
Prescription Medicines: You pay a set amount towards the cost (PBS amount) and your provider pays the rest, up to a maximum of $50 per item to a maximum of $300 for a single membership ($600 family). As an overseas student, you may face significant out of pocket costs if you need treatment with “high cost” pharmaceuticals, particularly oncology (cancer) treatment.
Pathology and X-rays: 85% of the MBS Fee for out-of-hospital services or 100% of the MBS Fee for in-hospital services.
Emergency ambulance transport: Your provider covers 100% of the cost of emergency transportation in an ambulance.
Prosthetic devices: Your provider covers the full cost of any No Gap prostheses and the minimum benefit for Gap permitted prostheses. Surgically implanted prostheses could include, for example, stents for coronary arteries, artificial hips/knees or titanium plates/screws for reconstructions & bone breaks.
Important: Waiting periods apply for pre-existing conditions. That is, an ailment, illness or condition which either you or one of your dependants have, the signs or symptoms of which, in the opinion of a Medical Practitioner appointed by your provider, existed at any time in the 6 month period before you or your dependant arrived in Australia. For pre-existing medical conditions and pregnancy related services including childbirth there is a waiting period of 12 months. That means you won’t be covered for these conditions until the waiting period is over. For a pre-existing condition of a psychiatric nature, there is a waiting period of 2 months.
You or one of your dependants has a pre-existing condition if the signs or symptoms of the ailment, illness or condition you have (in the opinion of a Medical Practitioner appointed by your provider) existed at any time in the 6 month period before you or your dependant arrived in Australia on a student visa. For pre-existing medical conditions and pregnancy related services including childbirth there is a waiting period of 12 months. That means you won’t be covered for these conditions until the waiting period is over. For a pre-existing condition of a psychiatric nature, there is waiting period of 2 months.
Direct billing is when you visit your General Practitioner (GP) and your GP charges you the MBS Fee. Some doctors have arrangements with OSHC provider to bill directly for the full MBS amount so you won’t have any out-of-pocket expenses. Not all GPs direct bill.
What about cover for dental care and prescription glasses?
You can purchase more cover to have benefits for a range of other services such as dental services, prescription glasses, physiotherapy and chiropractic. Please remember that this cover doesn’t satisfy your visa requirement and can only be purchased in addition to OSHC. Some waiting periods will apply.
OSHC covers you for the duration of your student visa. If you plan to stay in Australia after your student visa expires, you’ll need to apply for another visa that is specific to your future needs. Visit www.immi.gov.au for more information. If you obtain a different visa (eg an overseas visitor visa, a working visa) you will need to organise different health insurance, as OSHC can only cover you while you are on a student visa.
The Department of Immigration & Boarder Protection requires holders of a student visa to maintain OSHC for their entire stay in Australia. If you allow your cover to lapse, you will be in breach of your visa conditions. You’ll also need to renew your OSHC and have to back-pay for any period that you were not covered by OSHC. In addition, you are not entitled to receive benefits for periods when you were not covered by OSHC even if you re-activate your policy and backdate your payments for that period. This may also result in you having to pay very significant hospital, medical or other costs yourself.
Many minor illnesses can be treated with medicine from a pharmacy. However, if you’re sick your first stop should be a visit to a family doctor (called a GP or General Practitioner) – the GP will then advise you on what you need to do next.
Go to the GP for minor medical issues (such as stomach ache, sneezing, coughing, fever, a skin rash, diarrhoea). The GP can provide you with advice and a prescription for medication to treat your illness. The GP can also refer you for an x-ray or blood tests or to a specialist doctor if this is necessary.
In Australia there are public hospitals (owned and run by the government) and private hospitals. We have partnerships with some private hospitals. You can choose where you wish to have your medical treatment.