If you are currently studying in Australia, you will already have your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) arranged as part of your visa requirements. At the time, you might have chosen to go with your agent or institution’s OSHC preferred provider or arranged it yourself through any of the five Australian OSHC providers. What a lot of students don’t know is that once you are in Australia, you are still able to change OSHC provider at any time to save some money or to better suit your changing needs.
As you are required to pay your OSHC in advance to get ‘visa-length cover’ for the entire period you intend to study in Australia, if you do switch providers you will receive a pro-rata refund for the remaining cover you have with your original OSHC provider.
How do I know if I am getting the best deal on my OSHC?
The first step is to find out how much you originally paid for your OSHC and what benefits that cover provides. You can find that in your original agreement with your provider. If your OSHC is through your institute or agent, there might be extra benefits included, so make sure you check for those.
Once you know what cover you have, it is time to look for a new deal. An easy way to do this is to use an OSHC comparison service like OSHC Australia. This way, you compare all government-authorised providers together and see how their policies differ in terms of features and price to ensure you make the right decision.
If I change OSHC provider, will that affect my Student Visa?
All five Australian OSHC providers are approved by the Australian government for Student Visa purposes.
What about waiting periods and cancellation fees?
Depending on the terms of your policy, you may incur a fee for cancelling your insurance. Make sure you check that out before switching providers. Any periods of membership served with your previous OSHC insurer will count towards waiting periods with your new OSHC insurer, provided there is no lapse in membership.
I’ve found a better deal. Now what?
- Purchase the new policy
- Request a cancellation form from your previous OSHC provider
- Send cancellation form to the old insurer
- Wait for your refund (this generally takes about four weeks)