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 six 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.
While you can switch OSHC funds at any time, you may incur a refund processing fee if you do so. You may be entitled to a refund on your OSHC if you paid in advance. There cannot be any gap between your previous policy and your new policy, so always ensure you have arranged your new OSHC in advance. Contact your OSHC provider directly to understand the process involved in switching.
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, extra benefits might be 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 Canstar or 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 six Australian OSHC providers are approved by the Australian government for student visa purposes.
The six OSHC providers are:
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 this 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)
The process of switching your OSHC provider is fairly simple, but it’s important to ensure you have checked all of your options and planned your steps forward before proceeding.