OSHC Australia says international students are often unaware they have a choice when purchasing an overseas student health cover policy.
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International students in Australia are required to purchase health insurance, more commonly known as the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), for the duration of their studies.
But what many students might not know is while universities typically have an agreement with a particular OSHC provider and bundle the provider’s policy with their tuition fees, students are not obliged to go with the university’s preferred provider.
OSHC Australia’s chief executive Cale Bennett says students should do their homework to find a health insurance provider and policy that best suits their needs.
OSHC Australia provides an online resource for international students to find out and compare all Australian Government-approved providers on the market.
Mr Bennett says students new to Australia are often uninformed about their options, and it is common for them to purchase an OSHC policy with their university before doing their due diligence.
Students need to know what kind of coverage they are paying for, he says.
According to Mr Bennett, there is a “massive disparity in pricing between the cheapest and most expensive policies for university students, over $500, despite the terms and conditions being fundamentally the same.”
Council of International Students Australia president Aleem Nizari is supportive of OSHC Australia’s initiative.
“Comparing all policies in the one place provides great transparency, which is always welcomed,” Mr Nizari says.
“Helping international students find the cover that best suits their individual circumstances will provide comfort to families that their child is well looked after.”
Students who have already purchased an OSHC policy with another provider can still use OSHC Australia as a tool to compare their existing policy with other eligible OSHC policies. Where students believe that a different policy offers better value, OSHC Australia can facilitate switching providers – potentially generating a cash refund to the student.
For more information about OSHC Australia, as well as details about switching OSHC providers, visit www.oshcaustralia.com.au or call 07 3333 1521. You can also connect with OSHC Australia via Facebook and Twitter.