Help + advice

 Health Cover

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

The Australian Government requires all international students to:

  • purchase OSHC in order to be granted a student visa;
  • be covered by OSHC for the length of their student visa;
  • purchase OSHC from a registered health provider, approved by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care; and
  • pay OSHC before they leave home that will cover them from when they arrive in Australia.

The Department of Home Affairs provides detailed information about the health insurance requirements of the Australian Government.​

Services covered by OSHC

You are strongly encouraged to read the relevant health cover page documents for information regarding what is and is not covered.

OSHC providers allow you to claim 100 per cent of the government set fee for a standard medical consultation.

OSHC covers:

  • visits to the doctor;
  • public hospital stay;
  • ambulance services (when hospital admission is necessary); and
  • some prescription medicines.

OSHC does not cover:

  • dental treatment;
  • optical treatment; and
  • physiotherapy.

We strongly recommend you take out additional private health cover to cover these additional services.

Most standard OSHC premiums do not cover treatment for pre-existing disability or medical conditions during the first 18 months of membership. If you have disabilities or medical conditions you may have to obtain additional health insurance or have extra funds available to cover your medical expenses.

Details and costs of policies, including what an OSHC policy will and won’t cover, and any waiting periods that may apply to certain treatment types, can be obtained by contacting each insurer directly.

Where to purchase OSHC

You must purchase OSHC from a government-approved provider. You should compare alternative OSHC providers to find one that suits your budget and needs. The following private health insurers provide OSHC products and policies for overseas students:

If you wish TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA) to arrange health cover for you, TIWA has a service arrangement with Bupa and will receive an administration fee from Bupa to arrange your cover.

If you wish to use another provider, you will need to mak​​​e your own payment arrangements and show evidence of the payment to the Department of Home Affairs when you apply for your​ visa.​

Health cover card
If you have arranged​ OSHC through TIWA you will receive information about your OSHC card at your TAFE college's orientation session.

Health cover costs​

The following table gives you a guide as to the cost of cover effective from 17 December 2018 (subject to change).

Months duration Icon of single person​Single policy* Icon of coupleCouples policy+ Icon of family Family policy#

* Single - Cover for you only.
+ Couples - Cover for you and your partner as listed on your dependant visa.
# Family - Cover for you, your partner and your children under​ 18 years of age if they live with you in Australia and are listed on your dependant visa.​

Useful links

Frequently asked questions

Q: Does OSHC cover my family members?
A: Students who are bringing a partner or children to Australia as dependants on their student visa must have appropriate Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for all members of their family for the duration of their visa.
Q: How long do I need to purchase Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for?

All international students pay for Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of their student visa. You will be entitled to a refund of any outstanding balance if you leave Australia before you originally intended, provided there is at least one month remaining before your health cover expires. You must pay the premiums for OSHC when you accept your offer.

Q: When does my Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) membership start?
A: Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) will be activated when you arrive in Australia, however it is important to note that a qualifying period may apply for some services. If you renew your visa offshore or take a leave of absence from your studies and have a new visa issued from abroad, you will be subject to another qualifying period for some services.
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