People who must take out OSHC are overseas students undertaking formal studies in Australia and their dependents (for example, spouses and children under 18 years old).
For the purposes of OSHC, ‘overseas student’ means:
- a person who is the holder of a student visa; or a person who:
– is an applicant for a student visa; and
– is the holder of a bridging visa; and
– was immediately before being granted the bridging visa, the holder of a student visa.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship requires overseas students to maintain OSHC for the duration of time they are in Australia. For further information please visit the Department of Immigration & Border Protection website.
Who doesn’t have to take out OSHC?
Belgian, Norwegian and some Swedish students are not required to purchase OSHC as part of their visa requirements.
As a result of an agreement between the Australian and Belgian governments, all Belgian students are considered to have met ‘adequate insurance’ requirements on the basis of the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement between Australia and Belgium. If you are a Belgian student, you will not have to take out OSHC to meet your visa requirements. For further information about your visa requirements please see the Department of Immigration & Border Protection website.
As a result of an agreement between the Australian and Norwegian governments, all Norwegian students are provided with adequate health insurance by the Norwegian government and the compulsory OSHC visa requirement is waived for Norwegian students. For further information about your visa requirements please see the Department of Immigration & Border Protection website.
Swedish students (Restrictions may apply)
Swedish students may be waived the compulsory OSHC visa requirement. Swedish students whose insurance is provided by Kammarkollegiet (the Swedish Legal, Financial and Administration Agency) will not need to take out OSHC. If you are a Swedish student who is not covered by Kammarkollegiet, you will need to take out OSHC. For further information about your visa requirements please see the Department of Immigration & Border Protection website.
Belgian, Norwegian and Swedish students who are not required to purchase OSHC, will be covered for treatment that is medically necessary under their country’s Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia.
Medically necessary treatment means any ill-health or injury which occurs while you are in Australia and requires treatment before you return home.
You would be entitled to:
- free treatment as a public in-patient or out-patient at a public hospital; and access to subsidised medicine under the Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme (PBS)
However you would NOT be entitled to:
- medicine not subsidised under the PBS; treatment arranged before your visit to Australia; accommodation and medical treatment in a private hospital; and accommodation and medical treatment as a private patient in a public hospital.
Belgian, Norwegian and Swedish students who are not required to purchase OSHC can choose whether to have Medicare cover only or a combination of Medicare and OSHC or some other type of private health insurance.
The benefits you receive from Medicare are based on a Schedule of fees set by the Australian Government. Doctors may choose to charge more than the Schedule fee. Please see the Medicare Australia website for further information about what is covered by Medicare.
Private health insurance can provide hospital cover as well as additional cover for some services not covered by Medicare, such as ancillary services (for example, dental, optical, physiotherapy), allied health services and ambulance cover.