Frequently asked questions - OSHC
OSHC policies will cover three scenarios:
- Singles cover: cover for just you
- Couples cover: cover for you and your spouse or de facto partner
- Family cover: cover for you, your spouse or de facto partner, and your children under the age of 18 who are living with you in Australia, and are listed on your student visa
- Single parent family cover: cover for you, and your dependant children who are under 18, living with you in Australia and listed on your student visa.
We don’t cover your extended family members such as your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers or sisters.
Most Australian residents are covered by the Australian national health program, Medicare, which covers a significant portion of their medical costs. International students aren’t eligible for Medicare (unless they are covered under a country's Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia). To ensure you have some of your medical expenses covered while you’re in Australia, you need OSHC.
There are three reasons why you should take out student cover (OSHC):
- It is a requirement for international students while they study in Australia.
- OSHC keeps you protected against the costs of medical treatment if you get sick or have an accident. Some treatments can cost thousands of dollars!
- Your cover will help lessen the impact of costs on the Australian health system. This helps our country continue to bring in international students.
Here are some of the services your CBHS International Health OSHC will not cover you for:
- Cosmetic surgery
- Assisted reproductive services
- Fees charged by a doctor above the amount we pay benefits for
- Non-Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), high cost drugs
- Treatment for services within the waiting periods.
If you pay your OSHC premium (fee) before you arrive in Australia, your cover will start on the day you arrive. If your arrival date changes, let us know immediately so we can update your information. If you don’t pay the premium before you arrive but pay it after your arrival, your cover will start from the day you pay your premium, or a later date if you nominate one. If you are transferring from another health fund, your cover will start from date you transfer your health cover to us.
We will not be able to pay any benefits until your premium (fee) is paid.
If your OSHC cover lapses or is cancelled, you will no longer be complying with your visa conditions and your visa can be cancelled. If you have an accident or need any medical treatment while you don’t have health cover, you will have to pay the full cost of that treatment yourself.
To ensure you're covered if your policy has lapsed, you’ll need to back-pay the premium for the time that you weren’t covered, as well as for the duration of your policy until your visa expires or you leave Australia.
Our student cover (OSHC) helps members meet the costs of:
- Visits to the Doctor
- Out of hospital medical treatment
- In-hospital medical treatment
- Emergency Ambulance
- Some prescription medications (medicines prescribed by your doctor in or out of hospital).
See the OSHC policy page for more information.
We have a network of doctors where you can access treatment at little or no cost upfront. Calling us first will help you:
- Work out what you need to do
- Work out who you need to see for help (at as little or no cost if possible).
We also have a network of hospitals where your treatment can be covered at little or no cost, so if you need to see a specialist or go to hospital, call us so we can help you find the best option.
In most cases, your student cover will pay for a good portion of your medical costs. In some cases, you may need to pay for the bill first and then claim a refund from us. In other situations, the medical practitioner will bill us directly for your treatment. Let them know you have cover with us and they’ll tell you what the process is.
For medication from the pharmacy, you will need to pay for the medicine and then we’ll refund you for some or all of the costs. Make sure you understand what medication you're covered for as there are limitations to what we can pay. If you aren't sure, call us, and we can tell you.
If you're very sick or need an operation you may need to go to hospital. You may also be taken to a hospital emergency room if you have a medical emergency.
In Australia we have two types of hospitals:
- Public hospitals which are owned and run by our state governments
- Private hospitals which are owned and run privately.
Getting into a public hospital for an operation can take a long time. You also won’t always get to choose your doctor.CBHS International Health has agreements with a range of hospitals and going to one of these hospitals for your treatment can reduce or eliminate any additional costs you may have to pay for your hospital stay. Call us on 1300 174 537 (OVHC) or 1300 174 538 (OSHC) to find out which hospitals are within our hospital network and what you're covered for before you go into hospital.
Exclusions are services that are not covered under your policy. You can seek services for the exclusions but CBHS International Health will not pay any benefits. Examples of exclusions under our health cover are:
- Non-admitted hospital psychiatric services
- Assisted reproductive services
- Cosmetic surgery
- Stem cell, bone marrow and organ transplant
- Other services for which a Medicare benefit is not payable.
Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCAs) vary from country to country, so it’s important to understand what you are and aren’t covered for before deciding on health insurance. Even if you’re entitled to reciprocal benefits, Medicare does not cover you for everything and without health insurance you will need to pay for these services. The list below gives examples of services that are NOT covered under RHCA.
- Dental care
- Elective treatment
- Medical evacuation to your home country
- Paramedical services, for example blood tests
- Treatment and accommodation in private hospitals, or as a private patient in a public hospital
- Treatment that is not immediately necessary.
Sometimes you must wait for a period of time before you’re able to claim benefits for services under your CBHS International Health cover – this is called a waiting period. The following waiting periods apply to our policies:
- Accidents, emergency ambulance transport: 1 day
- All other treatments (including pre-existing conditions relating to hospital psychiatric services, rehabilitation and palliative care): 2 months
- Product upgrades – waiting periods for the services that were not available on your previous product: 2 months
- Pre-existing medical conditions: 12 months
- Pregnancy and birth: 12 months
Once you’ve bought your cover, an email with your compliance letter will be immediately sent to you. Please make sure you provide a valid email address to avoid delays. If you have not receive your letter, contact CBHS International Health at firstname.lastname@example.org.