As an international student, it is a requirement of your student visa that you have private health insurance for the duration of your stay in Australia as per the Australian Government policy. Medicare Australia national health program does not cover you.

What is overseas student health cover?

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is insurance that provides cover on the costs for medical and hospital care which international students may need while in Australia. OSHC provides 85% of the scheduled (government recommended) fee for consultations with private doctors (including specialists) and emergency ambulance transport. It will also pay all the charges for a shared ward and treatment in a public hospital if a doctor appointed by the hospital treats you. OSHC does not pay for pharmaceutical drugs, dentists, physiotherapists, spectacles or contact lenses, pregnancy related services during the first 9 months of cover or preexisting conditions. Additional coverage for these purposes can be purchased separately from BUPA or any other private insurer.

Who is eligible for OSHC?

People eligible for OSHC are students from overseas who are undertaking formal studies in Australia, and their family members (for example, spouses and children under 18 years old).

For the purpose of OSHC, there are three categories of overseas students.

These are:

  • Non-Australian residents with a current student visa;
  • Students from New Zealand; or
  • Expatriate Australian students who are ineligible for cover by 
    Medicare.

Students in all three categories are eligible for, and must take out, OSHC.

Why are international students required to maintain OSHC?

Hospital treatment in Australia can be expensive. The average cost for a bed in a public hospital in Australia is $240 per day. International students are not eligible for Medicare - the Australian government's public health insurance system. Without access to the safety net of Medicare, international students may have difficulty paying for medical treatment. As a result, Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) was introduced to ensure international students have adequate health care arrangements during their stay in Australia. OSHC ensures international students can access appropriate health care without undue financial hardship. Additionally, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) requires all holders of a student visa to maintain OSHC.

DIBP advises that international students who do not maintain their OSHC may have their visas cancelled.

The College has entered into an agreement with BUPA as the preferred provider of OSHC to commencing international students. After the first 12 months of membership, students are able to transfer to another OSHC provider. You can also purchase visa length health insurance coverage.

Information about other registered OSHC providers is available on the Department of Health and Ageing web site:

It is a condition of your student visa that you always have valid health cover. It is your responsibility to renew your health cover when it expires if you are covered by BUPA's OSHC, you can do this online or at any BUPA branch.

For information regarding current BUPA's rates for single and family cover, as well as general information about coverage and renewal, please refer to BUPA's web site:

  • BUPA

You are covered by BUPA OSHC from the date of your arrival in Australia, and your membership card will be available for collection when you enrol (or shortly thereafter). More information regarding BUPA OSHC for international students can be found [here]