Overseas Student Health Cover [OSHC]

Australia has a special system of health cover for international students 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.

You might find that your institution has an agreement with a specific OSHC provider. You can choose to take out OSHC with this provider, or with the Australian OSHC provider of your choice. As at July 2008, there are five providers of OSHC in Australia. Visit these websites to find detailed information on what they cover and to decide which provider is right for you.

Your OSHC will help you pay for any medical or hospital care you may need while you’re studying in Australia, and it will contribute towards the cost of most prescription medicines, and an ambulance in an emergency.

For more information on what your OSHC insurance covers, refer to the Department of Health and Ageing's (DoHA) Frequently Asked Questions.

OSHC does not cover dental, optical or physiotherapy. If you want to be covered for these treatments you will need to buy additional private health insurance, such as:

  • Extra OSHC provided by some OSHC providers;
  • International travel insurance; or
  • General treatment cover with any Australian private health insurer. You can find a list of these providers and search for the one that suits you best at www.privatehealth.gov.au or www.iselect.com.au
Universities