Managing your money can be stressful. You’ve got enough to worry about without being ripped off by paying too much for health insurance. While budgeting is crucial, so too is being smart about which providers you’re using to manage your finances.
Selecting the right provider can save you hundreds of dollars a year, and we’ve put together some info for you on how to get the best deals on your healthcare while you’re here in Australia.
Getting the most from your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
Having OSHC is compulsory as part of your visa conditions as an international student in Australia. This insurance can only be provided by registered Australian health funds who have signed the Deed for the Provision of OSHC – an important agreement between the providers and the Government. Make sure you look for an authorised provider and keep the following in mind:
1. Pick the right plan
Remember that you have a choice of providers, so compare all the options available in terms of features, coverage limits, waiting periods and price.
2. Understand your cover
Standard OSHC plans provide coverage or partial payment for hospital visits, GP or specialist visits, and purchasing prescription medication. It’s important to know what’s fully covered, and what you may have to pay for in addition to these costs.
3. Don’t forget the extras!
Most providers offer additional support services to help you get the most out of your policy. This could include an app to manage your cover, a 24-hour advice and emergency support line, or even virtual doctor visits and in-person safety support. Look out for these extra services to help choose the right provider for you.
If you’re not sure that your provider is offering the best deal possible, remember that you can always switch. If you’ve picked the wrong plan, you can change providers at any time. And if your student visa is rejected, you’re entitled to a full refund of your policy, but some providers may charge a minimum cover period or processing fee, so check this when choosing your policy.
Mark is the CEO and Co-Founder of Cohort Go; an ed-tech company that connects international students to payments at low foreign exchange rates. A qualified lawyer, Mark completed a Bachelor of Business and has also obtained a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment. Prior to Cohort, Mark was responsible for managing all financial risks including foreign exchange, interest rate, liquidity and capital management at a large Australian bank. He has more than 15 years’ experience working for international investment banks, together with Australian regional banks. Mark has been CEO of Cohort Go since 2011.