“International students who are studying on a student visa are required by the Australian Government to have overseas student health cover (OSHC). This is a private health insurance scheme and ensures that you are able to access appropriate healthcare services in Australia without large expense.”
One of the main problems facing international students when they come to Australia is how to use their OSHC when they have medical issues. Having spent so much of money on health insurance, it makes sense to use it! Many students find it too complicated and settle for over the counter medication instead of seeing a doctor.
Here’s what a couple of students say about making claims:
Xuan: I have used my health cover several times in the last two years that I’ve been in Australia. Once I used it to claim an ambulance fee. I was able to claim the total cost, but had to wait a long time for that. When I visit a doctor at a clinic that accepts the OSHC, then I only have to pay the gap fee. It’s been really useful for me.
Vicky: I have been in Australia for 2 and half years and thankfully have never had to use my health cover. I wish I could use the OSHC for dental services though, because it is so expensive in Australia!
Here are some things to know about your health cover:
1. OSHC contributes to the cover of out-of-hospital medical treatment, in-hospital medical treatment, prescription medicines, and emergency ambulance assistance.
2. OSHC does NOT cover ALL medical bills, such as optical and dentistry and most injections/inoculations. For the first 12 months of your policy, OSHC does not cover pre-existing medical conditions.
3. There can be long waiting periods in certain situations so be aware that you may not receive your claim as quick as you would like.
4. Don’t forget that an OSHC representative regularly visits your campus, so it’s a good idea to speak to them if you have any questions.
5. If you have to go to a medical provider, make sure that it is one that accepts the OSHC. That way you are sure to be able to make a claim. And remember to always take your OSHC card with you. If you do not have one yet, you can order it online on the OSHC website.
6. Check this link for answers to frequently asked questions: OSHC FAQs.
Hopefully, like Vicky, you will not have to see a doctor for the duration of your stay in Australia. But if you do, make sure you make use of your health cover!
Have you ever had to visit a doctor in Australia?
Please share your experiences in the comments below!