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Health Insurance Options for International Students in Australia


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For students pursuing higher education in a college or university in Australia, purchase of student health insurance (also known as Overseas Student Health Cover or OSHC) for the entire duration of their study is mandatory. This is because, like many developed countries, the cost of medical treatment in Australia is very high. Without sufficient health insurance cover, students are likely to face severe financial hardships in case of illness or injury.

In this blog, Student Cover provides you information on health insurance options that are available to international students, including Indian students, during their study in Australia.

Why health insurance is mandatory for international students in Australia?

Like in the United Kingdom, Australia too has public funded universal healthcare system called Medicare. It offers Australian citizens as well as those who have permanent residency with free or low-cost medical treatment including optometric and hospital care. However, unlike the UK, these facilities are not available to non-residents and foreign nationals which include international students such as Indian students who go to Australia for higher education.

Such students are required to purchase health insurance from an Australia based health insurance provider. Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) insurance is not only mandatory but is also necessary for international students due to the following reasons:

1. Cost of private healthcare is very high

2. Health Insurance saves student from financial difficulties due to health reasons

3. Provides emergency transport services such as ambulance

4. It is mandatory for students get visa to study in Australia

What do Student Health Insurance plans in Australia cover?

In Australia, it is required by providers of OSHC to offer benefits which are at par with Medicare Benefits Schedule as stated by the Australian Department of Health. The coverage of illnesses, accidents as well as the insurance amounts are clearly stated for insurance companies to follow.

The general coverage of most OSHC plans includes:

1. OPD Treatment – Also known as out-of-hospital medical services. It includes costs associated with visiting a doctor or medical practitioner in case of illness.

2. 100% Coverage – The plan should cover 100% of fees for treatment while being admitted in hospital or medical institution as per medical benefits schedule. The covered treatment procedures also include surgery.

3. Coverage of Accommodation in Public Hospital – Cost of shared ward accommodation in public hospitals should be covered under Insurance. For Private hospitals that have arrangement with insurance provider i.e. network hospitals, there too shared ward accommodation cost is covered.

4. Minor Surgeries Covered – For minor surgeries such as day surgery accommodation for day surgery in a hospital or clinic is also covered.

5. Prosthetics Covered – Certain prosthetic devices such as those inserted into the body during joint replacement surgery are also covered by OSHC.

6. Medicines Covered – OSHC plans also have provision for coverage of medicines procured from pharmacy. The covered amount is $50 per medicine, with a maximum limit of $300/year for a single person. If the student has family cover, it extends to $600 per annum. However, one should keep in mind that one still might have to pay part of the cost of most prescription medicines.

7. Ambulatory Services Covered – Ambulatory services availed during emergency are also covered by OSHC plans.

How Student Cover can help Students get best insurance cover in Australia?

For international students, Student Cover, in association with NIB offers student health insurance to students who are headed to Australia for higher studies. Students can purchase plans based on their requirement and budget. Student Cover provides NIB plans for those who are single, couple or have a family.

Students can purchase NIB plans starting from just $39.92 per month (Rs. 2,137 as of 27th August 2020 exchange rate) and either pay the premium on monthly, yearly or may even purchase for a period not extending 69 months. For couple, the monthly insurance premium starts at $ 237.50 per month (i.e. Rs. Rs. 12,714) and for family it is $415.83 per month (i.e. 22,262). Below is the complete rate chart for NIB student health insurance plans.

Some of the major Student Health Insurance Providers in Australia are

1. NIB

2. Australian Health Management (AHM)

3. Medibank Private

4. Allianz Global Assistance and

5. Bupa Australia

Healthcare coverage of NIB plans offered by Student Cover

In addition to the general coverage listed above, the NIB Plans offered by Student Cover provide extensive coverage and include

1. 100% coverage of Treatment at Public Hospitals – NIB Plans cover 100% cost of treatment in public hospitals for shared ward accommodation, theatre fees and same-day services, accident and emergency services as well as post-operative services.

2. 85% coverage of cost of out-of-hospital (i.e. OPD) specialist medical services – NIB Plans cover 85%

of the cost of out-of-hospital (i.e. OPD treatment) specialist medical services such as pathology, diagnostic imaging and radiology that come under Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).

3. Cover 100% cost of Ambulatory Services – 100% of necessary transport such as ambulatory service availed during medical emergencies.

To know more about OSHC plans for Australia including procurement process, kindly email your queries to info@studentcover.in or call us at +91 9871377966.

Let’s Wrap Up

Health insurance is not only necessary but also mandatory for international students to study in Australia. Having a good health insurance is not only beneficial for physical health but also mental and financial health of the student. Student Cover offers OSHC insurance plans to international students in association with NIB insurance of Australia. This plan not only covers illness & accident treatment but also required by student in order to get student visa to study in Australia.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is based on personal research of the writer. Reader’s discretion is advised. Neither Student Cover nor the writer will be held responsible for any wrongful interpretation of the content of this blog.

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