Health insurance for students

You must have adequate health insurance while in Australia. This is done by obtaining Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which provides medical and hospital insurance in Australia. You must not arrive in Australia before your health insurance starts. If you are in Australia and do not have adequate health insurance, you are in breach of your visa conditions.

Your education provider might organise your OSHC coverage for you, or you can select an approved OSHC provider yourself and pay the policy.

If your education provider arranges your OSHC coverage, you will need to know the name of your health insurance provider, the date that your policy starts and finishes and should be aware of the terms and conditions of your policy. If you arrange OSHC coverage yourself you will also need to know the policy number to include in the visa application.

Exceptions: You do not need OSHC if you are:

  • a Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme
  • a Swedish student covered by the National Board of Student Aid or by Kammarkollegiet
  • a Belgian student covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.

If you are studying at more than one educational provider and both are arranging OSHC, you will have to ensure that there is no gap between policies. This means that as one policy expires the next commences immediately.

OSHC is available for a period of up to five years. If your course exceeds five years in length, then OSHC providers may issue cover for a longer period.

If you have a child born after your arrival in Australia, and you only have a single OSHC policy you must change that to a family policy. If family members join you after your arrival in Australia they will have to demonstrate that they have an OSHC policy for the duration of their visas.

There are Overseas Student Health Cover – Frequently Asked Questions available on the Department of Health website.

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