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International Student Insurance in Australia

International Student Insurance in Australia

If you plan to study or do an internship in a company abroad, be aware that you will not be covered by your insurance at home. It is, therefore, necessary to take out health insurance abroad covering you for the entire period of your studies, your internship or your language course. This article will help you to understand all aspects of international student insurance in Australia.

Why do you need Health Insurance as a Student?

When you leave the European Union, you are no longer covered by your system of Social Security. Depending on your country, you will have to pay all the medical costs upfront . Then you will need to submit a request for reimbursement which will be lump sum and you only get a certain part refunded.

Regardless of the country where you will study or do an internship, medical care in case of health problem or accidents can quickly reach enormous amounts. Therefore, it is important to go with a health cover that will financially protect you.

Study within the European Union

Before departure, make an application to obtain the European health insurance card (EHIC). This one certifies your rights to health insurance. This way you will receive medical care in the country of your stay *. The application of the EHIC must be made to your Health Insurance Fund.

For UK citizens, when you travel to an EU country or Switzerland you should have a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This card replaces the EHIC and lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free.

* The law varies depending on the country, check before you leave.

What if you are going to a country outside the European Union?

It is essential you subscribe to an insurance to cover your medical expenses in case of an accident or illness. These insurances complete your home coverage. In some countries, such as Australia, you will need to take out additional health insurance to obtain your student visa. In this case, you can choose to join a private insurance provider.

student insurance australia

Mandatory health insurance in Australia OSHC

International students undertaking formal studies in Australia, and their dependants (for example, partners and children under 18 years old), must obtain OSHC. OSHC Insurance (Oversea Student Health Cover) is mandatory for international students in Australia. It is essential if you want to obtain your student visa. You should know that an OSCH insurance covers at least the rates agreed by Medicare, the Australian health system. This means that this type of insurance does not cover all health costs. As in your home country, the cover has its limits.

Here’s what OSCH insurance covers and some tips:

In case of illness or injury
If you get sick or injured in Australia, you make an appointment with the GP – General Practitioner. If you don’t want to pay for your visit out of your pocket, pay attention to the practices you will be visiting. They must be labelled “Bulk Billing” so that you do not have to pay the medical fees or you can get a full refund.
For medicines, you are covered for an annual amount of AUD 300. On the other hand, the cost of your meds should not exceed AUD 50 for it to be fully supported.
Hospital treatments
You are covered in public hospitals in a shared room and for administered medical treatments. Ambulance fees are also included.

In summary, OSCH is the minimum of health coverage. It does not cover important care, such as the repatriation, the support of appointments with medical specialists, etc…

Getting a travel insurance for your studies and internship abroad

So now you know that the OSCH is covering the minimum. It is fundamental to have an appropriate insurance policy to protect you in the most serious situations and not subject you to very expensive payments. Chapka Insurance has created an insurance specifically for European students who go abroad for an internship or for further studies.

Cap Student Insurance

Cap Student Insurance offers comprehensive insurance coverage and assistance to cover you for the duration of your stay abroad as part of your studies, an internship and including tourism. From 25 € per month (without discount), you can benefit from a full insurance coverage!

This insurance is recognized by leading universities around the world, including Canada, the USA, but also by the institutions in China or Australia for example.

All the readers of Australia – Backpackers Guide can enjoy a 5% discount on Cap Student!

Benefits of Cap Student

  • Your medical fees (consultations, exams, treatments) are covered from the 1st Euro and unlimited.  
  • If you are being hospitalized, the insurance will pay for a member of your family to be at your bedside.
  • Your repatriation is covered at 100% of the real cost
  • You are covered at your destination of studies, but also if you leave on holiday in other countries (90 days max).
  • In the case of hospitalization or death of a member of your family (including grandparents), the cost of your early return is covered

Conditions to subscribe

  • You can subscribe if are studying abroad and can justify this with a confirmation of enrolment (school certificate or an internship agreement).
  • You must be between 12 and 40 years old.
  • You must be a resident of the European Economic Area, Switzerland, Andorra, the Principality of Monaco, DROM, New Caledonia and French Polynesia.
  • You must subscribe before your departure. You can get this insurance if you are already abroad but under conditions

Frequently asked questions

Is health insurance mandatory for students in Australia?

Yes, having insurance is mandatory to obtain a student visa in Australia. The minimum requirement is to subscribe to OSHC, but it is highly recommended to have additional private insurance.

How can I purchase health insurance for my studies in Australia?

It’s very easy to get health insurance for Australia. For OSHC, you can directly contact the school or university where you plan to study, and they will guide you. As for private insurance, it’s even simpler – you can subscribe online directly from the chosen insurer’s website.

What is the coverage duration of student health insurance in Australia?

The coverage duration depends on the health insurance policy, but generally, it lasts until the end of your study period in Australia.

What happens if I am not covered by health insurance in Australia?

When you leave the European Union, you are no longer covered by Social Security. If you don’t have private health insurance, then in case of health issues, the costs will be on you. Note that OSHC will cover a portion of the expenses, but it’s minimal. That’s why it’s advisable to get health insurance on top to study in Australia.

Does student insurance cover dental and optical care in Australia?

Chapka’s Cap Student insurance covers emergency dental and optical expenses. Check the offered benefits and limits before subscribing.

What’s the difference between public health insurance (Medicare) and private student insurance in Australia?

Medicare is the public health insurance system in Australia, accessible to Australian citizens and permanent residents. International students are generally not eligible for Medicare – unless your country has an agreement with Australia. Private student insurance offers an alternative for international students by providing tailored medical coverage.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for informational purposes only. The list of coverage is not exhaustive. We advise you to refer to the general terms and definitions provided by the insurer, which are the only authoritative documents at the time of subscription.

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Black Bird
After a long stay in Australia, we founded Black Bird, a company specialized in travel insurance. Our mission is to inform and help young travellers in their insurance choices (advice, tips, comparisons etc). If you have any particular questions, do not hesitate to contact us directly by email. Contact: infos.blackbird@gmail.com. RCS no. 833 461 403. Insurance intermediary registration number: 18000657 (ORIAS - Banking and Finance Intermediaries)