Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
OSHC Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) provides health cover for international students. It covers the cost for visits to the doctor, some hospital treatment, ambulance services and a small number of prescriptions. It is a mandatory condition of your Visa, and needs to cover the whole period of your stay.
OSHC will ‘bulk bill (direct bill) your doctor at many clinics, which you means you will not be charged for the appointment. Depending on the doctor, you may have to pay a gap fee of $30-50, so it is good to ask in advance if they bulk bill.
The University Health Services in the Wentworth Building (level 3) is free of charge with OSHC.
Map of Wentworth/UHS here
The University has a cost free counselling service called CAPS. https://sydney.edu.au/students/counselling-and-mental-health-support.html
We find that many international students do not know that OSHC will also cover some specialist services such as Counsellors from outside the University. If you wish to see a psychologist outside the University you pay the cost upfront, and then your OSHC will reimburse you for most of the fee (around 85%). For example, many psychologists charge between $140-260 upfront, but with your OSHC reimbursement you would only pay $50 or less ‘out of pocket’. This is called a ‘gap’ fee. Feeling anxiety, depression, and loneliness could be seen as a legitimate illness so seek help. To access a counsellor, you can contact them directly and let them know you are an international student. If you need a referral, speak with a general practitioner (GP) about options in your area. You can also speak with the SRC Caseworkers if you are not sure about how to see a counsellor.
If you are a victim of a crime such as assault, access to hospital does not require any specific insurance and you will be seen by a doctor free of charge.
If you have OSHC you will likely have emergency ambulance cover if the ambulance is medically necessary for admission to hospital or emergency treatment.
OSHC will also cover the cost of terminations after your first 12 months in Australia under most standard OSHC. Health Insurers can waive this 12-month policy. For help with pregnancy or STI-related queries, insurance providers have the following services available (Meld Magazine – OSHC)
Contacts and further information
- If you are an OSHC policy holder with Medibank, they recommend the “Symptom Checker” iPhone app. You don’t need to speak with a doctor or nurse if you are experiencing discomfort or suspect you may have contracted a STI. Medibank Private also has a service called MiHealth that offers a 24-hour hotline. With MiHealth, you can speak to a nurse about any medical concerns you may have, big or small at 1800 644 325.
- OSHC Worldcare offers a 24-hour helpline that is not limited to medical advice. If you are in trouble, need immediate medical assistance, or just want to ask a health professional a question, dial 1800 814 781. For information on claims, especially if you need clarification on what is covered with your OSHC policy, call 1800 651 349. To find a doctor, more information is available here.
- Bupa Australia is contactable at 1800 888 942. A list of their frequently asked questions can be found here.
- With Australian Health Management (AHM) OSHC, you can access a 24-hour emergency hotline, stress and trauma counselling services, and more. More information can be found here.
- If you hold a NIB OSHC policy, they encourage their clients to call 1800 775 204 (this line is open Mon-Fri 8am-8.30pm and Sat 8am-1pm) or visit their website to ensure the provider is recognised by NIB and that you are entitled to receive a benefit when making a claim.
For more questions about accessing health care in Australia see the University information at https://sydney.edu.au/students/overseas-student-health-cover-oshc.html , or book an appointment with a caseworker by calling 9660 5222 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Important Notice and Disclaimer:
This information does not constitute Legal advice. Seek qualified professional advice before making decisions about educational, financial, migration or legal matters. This information can change from time to time. Check for the most up to date information.
Information current as at February 2018