Overseas Student Health Cover
Gday everyone! Winter is coming, so are you under good cover?
In order to ensure international students have appropriate health care during their stay in Australia, the government introduced Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). With OSHC, we can all afford to seek affordable medical and hospital treatment when we get sick.
Did you know that the average cost of shared ward accommodation in a public hospital in Australia is $255 per day, not including any special treatment or drugs? Without health insurance, international students may spend a lot than one could imagine on medical and hospital treatment.
OSHC also entitles international students to access many medical services free of charge, such as ambulance services etc. If you are not covered by OSHC, you will be required to pay the full price and this probably would put you in financial hardship. Therefore, remember to check your OSHC regularly and renew it when required.
OSHC is Compulsory for all International Students
We understand that OSHC could be expensive sometimes, but as an international student, it is required by the Immigration Department (DIBP) that you have OSHC for the entire duration of your stay in Australia on a student visa. DIBP advises that international students who do not maintain their OSHC can have their visas cancelled.
For students who have not had OSHC for some time in the past, you will be required to back-pay for those uncovered period when they extend their stay in Australia (that is, when you extend their student visa). You will have to pay for 2 years if you have not renewed your OSHC in the past 2 years.
How can I renew my Overseas Student Health Cover?
Renewing your health cover is very easy. You can renew your cover by either contacting the provider of your OSHC (they normally have branches on the main university campuses) or the institution at which you study.
There are four main OSHC providers, and each one of them have different offers and prices. You can choose either to stay with the old provider you were with or change to another provider if you were not satisfied with the old one. Simply click on the their website to find more information in regards to OSHC,
How to use OSHC?
You can choose to visit any general practitioner (GP) or go to the outpatients department of a public hospital with your OSHC card. When you receive a bill for medical treatment, there are generally two choices: you can pay the bill and get a receipt first, and later claim for a refund from your OSHC provider.
Alternatively, your OSHC information will be recorded for the unpaid account and the medical bill will be posted directly to your OSHC provider for payment. For pharmaceutical (prescribed medicine) claims, you will need to pay the chemist/pharmacist and then get a refund from your OSHC provider.
However, arrangements for payment of treatment expenses will vary between OSHC providers. You should contact your provider for further information. You can also get more information about OSHC from the Department of Health and Aging.
Ok, thats all for this time. Keep warm!