Overseas Student Health Cover

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Overseas Student Health Cover is a compulsory health insurance product required by international students studying in Australia. OSHC is an insurance product that basically gives international students a level of insurance coverage that is based on the Australian Medicare system. Overseas Student Health Cover is commonly referred to as OSHC. Students can arrange to pay for their OSHC through their educational institution. However, students can still choose their own OSHC provider even when their educational institution makes a specific recommendation because they have negotiated a preferred provider arrangement with a particular insurer.


OSHC is only able to be offered by Australian private health insurers who have signed the Deed for the provision of Overseas Student Health Cover with the Australian government. The Deed outlines the conditions required to be met by the registered insurers in order to offer the OSHC product. A legal document between the Commonwealth of Australia and the relevant insurer, the Deed dictates the minimum benefits payable by the insurer, in addition to conditions for which it is not required to pay any benefits. In addition, clause 6.8 of the Deed[1] stipulates the conditions under which the insurers can terminate policies and make refunds, specifically:

  • Where the student decides not to come to Australia;
  • Where the student has ceased studies and left Australia prior to the end of their visa;
  • Where the student has had their application for an extended stay refused by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship;
  • Where the student has been granted permanent residence;
  • Where the student has been outside Australia for a period exceeding 3 months; or
  • Where the student holds an OSHC from another insurer.


OSHC is not needed if the student is:[2]


As at 29 May 2019, there were 6 health insurers who are signatories to the Australian Government the Deed for the provision of Overseas Student Health Cover enabling them to offer OSHC.[3]


  1. ^ "Template Overseas Student Health Cover Deed" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-04-09.
  2. ^ "Health insurance for students". Department of Home Affairs.
  3. ^ Ombudsman, Private Health Insurance. "Overseas Student Health Cover". www.privatehealth.gov.au.

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