OSHC Insurance: Everything You Need to Know!

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) Insurance: What You Need To Know

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a requirement for everyone entering Australia on a student visa.

There are lots of different companies that sell OSHC. Don’t get caught up in the confusion, if you are coming to Australia to study, read on here for everything you need to know about OSHC and how to get cover via Cairns Sharehouse before entering Australia!

1. What is OSHC?

Overseas Student Health Cover is health insurance for overseas students. OSHC will cover 100% of the Medicare Benefit Schedule (MBS) fee for out-of-hospital medical services (like general practitioners) as well as 100% of the MBS fee for in-hospital treatments (like surgery). In addition OSHC covers public hospital shared wards, day surgery accommodation, ambulances and some prosthetic devices. Depending which health fund you take OSHC out with you will also have cover for additional items. However, all OSHC is required by law to have the cover listed here.

For the latest Medical Benefit Schedule fees click here.

2. Why do I need OSHC?

Since 2010, the Australian Government made OSHC a mandatory requirement for a student visa in Australia. Without OSHC, your student visa will not be approved and it must run for the entire duration of your studies in Australia. If it expires before you finish you studies you are at risk of having your student visa cancelled and will generally have to pay a greater premium to renew an expired cover.

3. Why is OSHC important?

In addition to OSHC being a mandatory component of student visas, it is important due to the hefty expenses from uninsured medical treatment in Australia. Overseas students are not eligible under the Australian Medicare system and hospital treatment in Australia reaches over $1,500 a day. Given we can’t predict when we could have an accident or fall sick, OSHC gives peace of mind that you won’t be facing a massive medical bill or severe financial strain while you recover.

 4. Am I eligible for OSHC?

OSHC is for overseas students. Overseas students are either

1) a person holding a student visa
2) a person who is applying for a student visa
3) a person who holds a bridging visa
3) a person who is the holder of a student visa immediately before being granted a bridging visa

5. When am I covered?

If you arrange your cover prior to arriving in Australia you are covered from the moment you arrive. Your cover will end on the expiry date shown on your card. Remember to keep an eye on this date to ensure you renew your OSHC if needed.

6. Important to know – Pre-existing conditions

If you have a pre-existing condition, OSHC may not cover it. If you have a condition that existed within six months of you either arriving in Australia or the date you were granted your student visa then you cannot claim any treatment through OSHC. However, once you have either been in Australia for 12 months or have had your student visa for 12 months (whichever one is later), you can then claim treatment for these pre-existing conditions.

7. Where do I get my OSHC?

Cairns Sharehouse can arrange OSHC insurance from Allianz Global Assistance Insurance Company and Bupa Insurance Company, both highly trusted companies providing OSHC.

Allianz Global Assistance

Allianz provides insurance to more than 3 million people and businesses in Australia.


Bupa has over 120 clinics and stores across Australia and New Zealand.

Contact Cairns Sharehouse to arrange OSHC cover. We have special accommodation and insurance packages available for greater savings.

Leave a Reply