Overseas student health cover
It is an important requirement of your student visa that you have adequate health cover while you are studying in Australia. This web page provides answers to questions that International Students often ask about health cover. It also provides you with other sources of information about health cover.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why must I have health cover?
- Who provides it?
- When and where do I pay?
- What is visa length cover (VLC)?
- What if I already have health cover?
- When and where do I renew my health cover?
- What do I need to do if my policy has lapsed?
- How do I obtain my OSHC card?
- How do I make a claim?
- What is direct billing?
- What if I get sick before my card arrives?
- What if I have a pre-existing condition?
- What services do I get for my money?
- What is holiday credit?
- What if I am a Norwegian student?
- What if my home country has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with the Australian government?
- What if I complete my program early?
- What health cover is available if I have applied for a permanent residency visa?
- How do I locate a Obstetrician or Gynaecologist who speaks a language other than English?
- Do I have to have OSHC with the University's preferred OSHC provider?
- What other insurance companies offer OSHC?
- Things to keep in mind
- How can I find out more?
Why must I have health cover?
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship requires all international students on student visas and their families (on ‘dependent’ visas) to pay for health insurance during their stay in Australia. This insurance is called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
OSHC is provided by a number of different health care agencies. 'Overseas Student Health Cover' provided by Allianz Global Assistance is currently the University’s preferred provider.
The Australian Department of Health and Ageing introduced changes to the requirements that govern all OSHC. As a result, some of the terms and conditions associated with your Overseas Student Health Cover policy will change. These policy changes took effect from 20 September 2011. If you have any questions, please contact 'Overseas Student Health Cover' Member Services on 13 OSHC (13 6742).
Overseas Student Health Cover provided by Allianz Global Assistance website: www.oshcallianzassistance.com.au
Students are not obliged to purchase OSHC from 'Overseas Student Health Cover' provided by Allianz Global Assistance. For information about other OSHC providers please refer to the Department of Health and Ageing website - OSHC FAQs.
If you are a full-fee paying overseas student (FPOS), the fees that you pay to the University through UniSA International includes an additional charge for an OSHC payment.
For further information contact UniSA International, 101 Currie St, Adelaide. Telephone: 8302 0114 or email.
Visa length cover is OSHC that covers you for the duration of your student visa in Australia. By having VLC, you will not have to renew your OSHC each year. VLC will also ensure that you maintain the OSHC requirements of your student visa.
'Overseas Student Health Cover' provided by Allianz Global assistance offers discounts for visa length cover for all policies over 12 months duration. As an OSHC member, you will be protected from future OSHC premium increases and ultimately you will pay less for OSHC for the whole of your program of study.
If you already have health cover from previous study in Australia, you need to advise staff at the Learning and Teaching Unit on any campus.
When you need to renew your health cover, you can go to Campus Central on any campus and make a payment to renew your Overseas Student Health Cover.
Once your payment has been processed you will receive an email from 'Overseas Student Health Cover' provided by Allianz Global Assistance, the University's preferred provider, with instructions on how to go online and order your OSHC card.
Please note that Campus Central will only take payments for the University's preferred provider - 'Overseas Student Health Cover' provided by Allianz Global Assistance. If you wish to purchase health cover with another provider you will need to contact them directly yourself.
Please remember: It is your responsibility to renew your health cover before the expiry date shown on your OSHC card.
It is an Australian Government requirement that you maintain overseas student health cover throughout the duration of your stay in Australia under a student visa. If your OSHC policy has expired you must make a renewal payment to cover the lapsed period. For example, if your OSHC expiry date was 14 Feb 2011 and, on 10 Feb 2012, you want to renew for another 6 months you will have to pay 18 months OSHC. This includes 12 months back pay plus 6 months renewal. You will not be required to re-serve waiting periods to receive future benefits but will be liable for any medical costs incurred during the period of lapsed cover.
If you are a new student, you will have paid for your OSHC as part of the acceptance of your offer of admission to the University. You will receive an email from 'Overseas Student Health Cover' provided by Allianz Global Assistance, the University's preferred provider, with instructions on how to go online and order your OSHC card.
If you have arranged your OSHC with another insurance provider, you must contact your provider directly for information regarding your membership.
You need to take your OSHC card with you whenever you see a doctor. The doctor may ask you to pay for the full cost of the visit. If this happens, you should ensure that you keep the doctor’s receipt.
There are three ways to make a claim for a refund from OSHC Worldcare. You can either:
- Visit the Overseas Student Health Cover cash claim service available on each campus, whereby individual claims up to $105.00 can be redeemed for cash.
- Fill out an online claim form on the 'Overseas Student Health Cover' Student member login website; or
- Come into any Learning and Teaching Unit office and manually complete a hard copy claim form. For further details please visit 'Overseas Student Health Cover' online.
Sales and Enquires: 13 OSHC (13 6742)
'Overseas Student Health Cover' claims hotline: 1800 651 349 (free call)
Direct billing is an arrangement between a health insurance provider and a doctor (or other medical facility), where the doctor sends bills for services directly to your health insurance company. This means that you do not have to put in a separate claim with your insurance company.
For a list of clinics who are direct billing go to 'Overseas Student Health Cover' Find a Doctor.
You can also contact the Learning and Teaching Unit email: email@example.com
If you need to see a doctor before you receive your card, you will still be covered. Your health cover is valid from the date you arrive in Australia. If this happens, you will need to pay the doctor, keep your receipt and claim a refund once you receive your card.
There is a 12 month waiting period for pre-existing conditions. OSHC benefits are not payable in the first 12 months after arrival in Australia where the treatment is for a medical condition in existence prior to that arrival . Please consult your policy document or 'Overseas Student Health Cover' for further details.
A pre-existing condition is an ailment, illness or condition the signs of which existed in the period of six months prior to your arrival in Australia. Please note that a pre-existing condition must be determined by an approved medical practitioner.
'Overseas Student Health Cover' provided by Allianz Global assistance provides for basic medical treatment at public hospitals and for part of the treatment at private hospitals. It will cover you for 100% of the Australian Government's recommended fee for doctor’s visits as well as a 24 hour emergency telephone assistance service.
There are some limitations to the coverage. For more details, consult the 'Overseas Student Health Cover' Policy document which you will have received with your OSHC card.
'Overseas Student Health Cover' 24 hour telephone assistance number: 1800 814 781
If you are an 'Overseas Student Health Cover' member and you will be leaving Australia for a period of one month (30 days) or greater you can apply for an extension to your OSHC card expiry date. Within one month (30days) of your return to Adelaide take your passport, boarding passes or travel ticket to the 'Overseas Student Health Cover' representative on your home campus. Your departure and arrival dates will then be confirmed and forwarded to 'Overseas Student Health Cover' Administration.
Your policy will be extended for the period that you are out of Australia. A new OSHC card with an updated expiry date will be issued to your current home address.
You must have current valid membership to be eligible for this extension.
If you are a Norwegian student you would most likely be covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme. If you are covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme please see below for more information on what your policy covers and how to make a claim.
More information, in Norwegian, is available at:
What if my home country government has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with the Australian government?
If you are in Australia on a student visa from the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium or Italy you are covered by Medicare. Students from Norway, Finland and Malta are not covered by the agreements with those countries.
For further information, please visit the Medicare Australia website.
Note: It is a condition of your student visa that all students take out Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
If you complete your program of study early, please be aware that UniSA has a legal obligation to notify the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of your completion date. From your completion date, you will then have 28 days to either leave the country or change your visa type. As Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is linked to your student visa you will need to cancel your OSHC and take out another form of health cover, visit the Australian Unity website or call 132 939.
You may also visit the iSelect website to compare and choose an alternative form of health cover.
Students who have applied for a permanent resident visa may be eligible for health cover with Medicare.
For further information please visit any Medicare office or the Medicare website.
You can locate an Obstetrician or Gynaecologist who is fluent in a language other than
English by visiting the
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
website. From this same website you can search for an Obstetrician or
Suburb/Town and State of Australia.
No. Although, the University of South Australia's preferred OSHC provider is 'Overseas Student Health Cover' provided by Allianz Global Assistance, you can choose to take out cover with any Australian Government approved OSHC provider.
If you want to change from one health insurance company to another, please be aware that you must first pay for the new policy, and show proof of payment to your previous insurance company, before you can cancel your old policy and receive a refund for the remaining portion.
A list of all OSHC providers is available on the Australian Government's Department of Health and Ageing website.
- You must keep your address details current at all times. The most common cause of cards not arriving is due to incorrect address details. If you change your address you must inform 'Overseas Student Health Cover' as well as the University. You can notify 'Overseas Student Health Cover' via email or by changing your address details online.
- OSHC is not the same as Medicare, which is the public health care provider for Australian citizens.
- It is your responsibility to renew your health cover before the expiry date shown on your OSHC card.
You can watch an 8 minute OSHC Information Video available from the 'Overseas Student Health Cover' website that contains important information about the Australian health care system and how overseas students can gain access to it.
This video also details the insurance requirements in relation to your visa.
Contact Healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222. This is a FREE 24-hour telephone health advice line. Calls are answered by Registered Nurses who can provide expert health advice about any health issue and what you can do next. This phone service is useful for general health information and for directing you to local health services.