As an international student in Australia, you are required to have overseas student health cover (OSHC) for the entire duration of your study in Australia. OSHC includes cover for visits to the doctor, some hospital treatment, ambulance cover and limited medicines.
Private health insurance can give you more choice in your healthcare. Along with OSHC, some students may choose to purchase private health insurance to cover items that OSHC does not cover.
Private health funds, such as ahm, provide OSHC as well as different private health insurance options.
For more info, download the overseas students health cover fact sheet HERE.
OSHC helps international students to cover hospital and medical expenses that may occur during your stay.
If you are a student from overseas on a temporary student visa, it is a condition of your visa to purchase and maintain OSHC for the duration of your stay as a student in Australia.
For more info on who needs OSHC, click HERE.
Medicare is the system provided by the Australian Government, which gives Australian citizens and most permanent Australian residents medical services at a reduced cost, or for free. Most international students are not covered under Medicare and are required to purchase OSHC.
Find out more info on OSHC HERE.
Depending on which plan you choose, most OSHC policies will either fully or partially cover:
There are some medical services that OSHC will not cover and require you to pay the full fee. If you use medication that wasn’t prescribed by a GP or isn’t included under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), you’ll need to pay the full amount yourself. You will also need to pay for other medical services when it costs more than the amount for which you are covered. Your OSHC member guide provides you with the details of your specific policy on what is and isn’t included.
Your ahm OSHC member guide, see page 28, provides you with the details of your specific policy on what is and isn’t included.
Just like OSHC is a requirement of your student visa, your spouse and children (if they’re under 18) will need OSHC before arriving in Australia.
Contact ahm OSHC to add your family members as dependents on your OSHC policy.
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is an Australian Government program that reduces the cost of medicines to make them more affordable.
Your ahm OSHC member guide, page 20, provides you with the details of prescription medicine benefits.
Find more info on PBS HERE.
A gap fee is an expense you need to pay when you receive medical care that costs more than what you can claim from your OSHC. To avoid this, use your OSHC Direct Billing providers.
If you see a doctor that is on your OSHC direct billing provider list, they will send the bill directly to your OSHC provider. This means you usually won’t have to pay an upfront payment at the time of your appointment.
You may need to show your OSHC membership card with photo ID for the bill/ invoice to be sent to your OSHC provider. There may also be out-of-pocket costs if the bill is above what your OSHC covers.
If you see a doctor that is not on your OSHC direct billing provider list, you will need to pay the bill/invoice.
To find an ahm OSHC direct billing provider, click HERE.
A waiting period is the time you need to wait between the date you purchased your OSHC policy and when you are eligible to claim on some types of medical services. This means you cannot claim during the waiting period and will need to pay.
For more info on waiting periods with ahm OHSC, click HERE and see page 23.
You can make claims online, in store, by mail or via your OSHC provider. Always keep your receipts so you can submit your claim.
For more info on how to claim with ahm OSHC, click HERE.
When you purchased your OSHC, you may have used your parents or agent’s contact details (e.g. an email address). If you do not want anyone else to see your personal information you may need to update your details with your OSHC provider. Your OSHC provider will only share your personal information with you and anyone you allow them to.
If you would like a translator or interpreter to help discuss an issue with your doctor, you can contact the Translating and Interpreting Service by calling 131 450. Available 24/7.
Although your OSHC provider may not cover the cost of interpreters for all services, there are free interpreters available HERE and in government hospitals and clinics. Always ask for an interpreter if you would like one.
Your OSHC may require you to pay a contribution towards the cost of each eligible medicine before they pay any benefits.
Find more info on prescription medication with ahm OSHC, click HERE and see page 26.
For hospital treatment, you will need to contact your OSHC provider as soon as you can with the details of your hospital care. They will then help arrange the necessary payment to the hospital. In a medical emergency, always immediately seek treatment. The hospital staff can help with your insurance afterwards. Always carry your OSHC membership card with you.
You will need to upgrade your OSHC policy before your baby is born to cover your baby.
Contact your OSHC provider during your pregnancy for specific information.
If you are having a baby in Australia your baby will not automatically become an Australian citizen. If neither parent is an Australian citizen or a permanent resident at the time of birth, your baby will hold the same visa subclass as you.
Find out more info HERE.
For ahm OSHC’s frequently asked questions, click HERE.
You can contact ahm OSHC 24/7.