The importance of Overseas Student Health Cover

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One of my friends who went on my Australian trip to Perth with me recently decided she wanted to go back there more permanently and study at one of the world-renounced universities Australia has to offer. I decided to help her research the practicalities of this and quickly discovered that her American health insurance policy wouldn’t cover her as a student abroad, so she’d have to buy Australian based cover. Here’s a quick summary of what I discovered.

Every year, students from all over the world travel to Australia to begin or continue their study. To keep their focus on school, they need to feel healthy and safe, which is why Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is so essential.

What is OSHC?

OSHC is meant to be a safety net for students who are studying in Australia. The coverage will allow them to visit the doctor if they fall ill, and they’ll also receive compensation for some hospital treatments, ambulance cover and prescription medications.

Any treatment arranged prior to your arrival in Australia or any medical treatment in a private hospital will not be automatically covered in OSHC, but patients will be able to seek treatment at public hospitals.

According to the Australian Department of Health, the average price for 12 months of OSHC for single people is around $437. For couples, the number is closer to $1,222.

Who needs OSHC?

Under Australian law, most students from overseas studying in Australia are required to have some form of OSHC in order to secure their visa. There are some conditions, however.

Australia has a special agreement with Belgium and Norway, meaning students from this country will be able to get medical treatment without OSHC. Some Swedish students may also be able to waive coverage.

How do I get OSHC?

There are a number of private health insurers in Australia who offer coverage for students. In fact, there are so many that it can be difficult to select just one that suits your needs.

Fortunately, there are websites that can help students compare private health insurance plans side by side. That way, they can find the best option for their situation and budget.

DT: Are you planning on travelling to Australia for study? Then you likely need overseas health coverage to keep you safe.

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/Overseas+Student+Health+Cover+FAQ-1#top

Sarah Pinkerton

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