Why do I need OSHC?
- It is a condition of your student visa that you have OSHC for the duration of your study stay in Australia. Students who do not maintain their OSHC will have their visas cancelled by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs.
- Medical treatment in Australia can be expensive. International students are not eligible for Medicare - the Australian government's public health insurance system. Without access to the safety net of Medicare, international students may have difficulty paying for medical treatment. As a result, overseas student health cover (OSHC) was introduced to ensure international students have adequate health care arrangements during their stay in Australia. OSHC ensures international students can access appropriate health care without undue financial hardship.
How do I obtain OSHC?
The main OSHC companies in Australia are as follows:
- BUPA Australia (locally known as HBA and Mutual Community)
- World Care OSHC
Scholarship students can choose any OSHC company they like. If however they would like the consulate to organise their health cover for them we will do so through a company called BUPA Australia, which many Omani students are now with. All you have to do is complete the 'new or renewed health cover' form and email it to
. If you choose this option it is important to ensure that you do not have any other health cover with another company.
If you would like to obtain your OSHC through another company that is fine but you will have to organise it yourself or get your university to organise it. Once you have done this full scholarship students can send us the original receipt and we will reimburse you.
If you need further assistance please contact the consulate.
What is BUPA?
BUPA Australia is part of the BUPA Group, one of the largest private providers of health care services in the world, with over 10 million customers in almost 200 countries. BUPA Australia is locally known as HBA and Mutual Community, which is one of Australia’s largest health cover funds looking after the health insurance of over three million Australians for over 70 years. It is recognized as a world leading independent healthcare organization boasting high quality, affordable and reliable services.
What am I entitled to with BUPA?
BUPA Australia operates under two models of doctor support for out-of-hospital services
1. Direct Billing Doctors – This is where BUPA Australia have established a direct billing relationship with the doctor and you can seek treatment from a doctor and not see a bill. BUPA Australia OSHC deals directly with the doctor’s surgery to pay for your treatment. You may have a 'co-payment' or 'gap' that is not covered by your health insurance, but with Direct Billing Doctors you will not have to file a claim
Click here to view direct billing doctors in your area (xls)
2. General Doctors/other medical services – At these doctors or medical provider services you will need to pay for the bill and then claim back your benefit from BUPA via their website, fax, and mail or via one of their applicable branch outlets. Your benefit will be the same as Australia residents under Medicare - this will be either 85% or 100% of the Medicare Benefits Schedule Fee (MBS). If the doctor charges more than the MBS fee which is likely then this means there could be a small gap payment not covered by your health insurance and you will have to pay.
BUPA Australia OSHC pays benefits for most prescription medicines. Medicines not claimable are items such as the oral contraceptive or weigh loss pills. You are required to pay a contribution towards the cost of each prescription item and then BUPA Australia OSHC will pay the rest of the cost up to a maximum of $50 per prescription item.
There is an annual limit of $300 per person and $600 per family membership.
There are two types of hospitals in Australia: public hospitals that are operated by the government and private hospital, which are operated privately and on a commercial basis.
OSHC cover shared ward accommodation in any public hospital, including treatment by your doctor. You only pay for the difference (if any) between the OSHC benefit for medical services and the actual fee charged. OSHC will also cover charges for our patient medical treatment at public hospitals.
Benefits for medicines prescribed when you are an inpatient can be claimed up to the annual limit available for prescribed medicines.
Private Hospitals – Participating Private Hospitals
BUPA - List of Participating Hospitals (pdf)
One of the key benefits of being with BUPA Australia is that you can use hospitals in their Participating Private Hospital Network (which includes licensed day hospital facilities), if you need to go to hospital
A Participating Hospital is a hospital with which BUPA Australia has an agreement and there are a large number of private facilities throughout Australia that have agreements with. If you choose to be treated in one of these facilities you will be fully covered for
- Hospital accommodation
- Theatre fees
- Intensive care ward fees
- and you will not have to pay any gap for these services
In-hospital medical/doctor services (such as surgeons, anaesthetists, X-rays, blood tests) are covered at 100% of the Medicare Benefits Schedule Fee. However doctors can charge above the MBS fee, therefore you may have a 'gap fee' which is not covered by your health insurance.
You will also be covered for any prescribed medicines, discharge planning and discharge items (like bandages) covered by the hospital agreement and related to the reason for your hospital admission.
At some Participating Hospitals we have agreed to provide additional benefits and these are our Members First Hospital. Students can use the single room guarantee for overnight admissions in any of our Members First Hospitals provided it is medically appropriate. As part of this arrangement you will need to book your admission at least a day ahead for a private room. If one is not available, the hospital will agree to pay you $50 for each day you are not in a private room.
A list of BUPA Australia OSHC Participating Private and Members First Network can be found on the attached BUPA Participating Hospitals file.
Other Private Hospitals
If you decide to be treated in a non Participating Private Hospital you will be required to pay any difference between the OSHC benefit of 100% of the MBS and the hospital charge so it is worthwhile using BUPA Australia network of hospitals to gain the best benefit.
BUPA pays for 100% of the charge for emergency ambulance transport services by an approved ambulance provider where medically necessary for admission to hospital or for emergency treatment. There are no benefits for routine ambulance journeys - even if they are offered to a student.
How do I claim with BUPA?
If you visit a Direct Billing Doctor or a Participating Hospital you will not need to make a claim. The Direct Billing Doctor or Participating Hospital will send the invoice to BUPA.
If you visit a non-Direct Billing Doctor or non-Participating Private Hospital you will need to undertake the following steps:
- You will need to pay the bill;
- You will then need to complete a claim form, sign it and attach all relevant documents.
- You then have to send this to BUPA either by post, fax or you can visit any of their branches.
BUPA Australia OSHC Claims
Level 2, 33-35 Atchison Street
St. Leonards NSW 2065
Fax Number: 02 9906 8933
- Provided all relevant documents are attached and in order BUPA Australia will reimburse you within 7 working days
- For general doctor consultations, you can visit a branch to be reimbursed on the spot.
- If your medical provider has charged more than the OSHC benefit this means that you have paid the 'gap fee' or 'co-payment'. BUPA will also send you a letter explaining this. For full scholarship students if you would like the gap reimbursed please send this BUPA letter to the consulate and you may be entitled for a reimbursement.
Who do I contact if I need help or further information?
BUPA Australia has a call centre operating 24 hours, 7 days a week at BUPA’s main office based in Melbourne. BUPA Australia has doctors and nurses available to manage your treatment or advise you on medical matters and has an Arabic speaker available.
Call the BUPA Australia toll free hotline on 1800 888 942 within Australia
+61 2 9461 3850 if calling from outside Australia
For any further information visit BUPA Australia’s website: www.overseasstudenthealth.com