Download our guides Your Next Career Accommodation Money and banking Cost of living Visas Employment Health and safety Language Life in Australia Studying Getting around Travel Advertise

Why Do You Need Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)?


You’re preparing for your big trip to study overseas and your to-do list seems neverending. While forgetting to pack your favourite t-shirt isn’t the end of the world, securing your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is one of the most important steps when planning to come to Australia.

International students are not eligible for Medicare (the Australian Government’s public health scheme) so they must cover the cost of medical treatment themselves. This is why you are required to have OSHC for the entire duration of your study as a visa requirement.

But other than being a necessity for visa purposes, why do you need health insurance while studying abroad? And how do you choose a plan that makes sense for you?

Why does OSHC even matter? 

Australia has a world-class medical system, however medical care can be very expensive. A short medical appointment can cost $80 and a hospital stay can cost thousands of dollars. If you have an accident or get sick, OSHC will cover many of your expenses.

Standard Overseas Student Health Cover plans provide coverage or partial payment when you:

  • Attend a doctor (GP) or specialist doctor appointment
  • Visit the hospital (including the care of doctors, surgeons or anaesthetists)
  • Require radiology and pathology tests
  • Purchase prescription medication
  • Need an ambulance for emergency care

OSHC is the difference between a big medical bill and a manageable expense. Having health insurance while in Australia will not only save you money if something does go wrong, but it will also give you and your family at home peace of mind.

How do you secure the right health insurance plan?

The key to finding the right plan is to compare the different coverage options available. There are five OSHC providers approved by the Australian government for Student Visa purposes.

    • Australian Health Management (AHM)
    • Bupa Australia
    • Medibank Private
    • Allianz Global Assistance
    • NIB

An easy way to choose between these providers is to use an OSHC comparison service like OSHC Australia. This way, you can compare all government-authorised providers together and see how their policies differ in terms of features and price to make sure you make the right decision.