Overseas Student Health Care (OSHC) is a requirement for most international students. Migration policy states students need an insurance policy for the length of their student visa. Students will need to have their OSHC policy in order to apply for the visa.
Please note this post does not provide advice on which policy you should select. Instead, I hope this will clarify what Australian Immigration’s policy is on OSHC. If you are seeking insurance advice, feel free to contact the relevant insurance providers or insurance professionals or contact immigration.
Generally speaking OSHC costs around $40 per month for individual coverage. So a 24-month policy will cost around $1000.
However, if you are looking at couple’s OSHC, the price more than quadruples to around $250 per month. Moreover, if you ask the different insurance company the reasons for the extra expense, they will each give you a different answer for the additional expense.
Many students ask if it is possible for them to purchase 2 individual policies. Immigration and OSHC providers have a different policy on this:
The Australian Office of Home Affairs (Aus Immigration) policy states: “Please note that evidence of cover for couples or families does not need to be combined and each applicant can take out cover separately. For example, couples can take out cover separately as two single premiums.” (PAMS: GenGuide G – Student visa). Out of personal experience, we have had many applications successfully approved with two individual policies.
However, insurance companies’ policy differs: Insurance companies state a couple is not allowed to have two single policies. Instead, the couple must have couple’s insurance. This is the policy of Bupa, Medibank, Allianz, NIB and AHM. What’s more, there is no specific reason given for the large increase in price. Each insurance company provides you with a different explanation. To be honest, this writer thinks it is just a cash grab by the insurance companies.
So what should students do? Unfortunately, I can’t answer this. Feel free to speak to the OSHC providers, do your own research with immigration policy or you can chat with family and friends.
However, if you are looking at OSHC, we would recommend BUPA as a company. In our experience, BUPA has been relatively easy to deal with compared to other providers. You can check out their prices and purchase insurance here.