Policy owners who have subscribed to the private health insurance can visit the private hospitals for getting a treatment and they can have wide range of health care options as well as medical expenses which are covered under this insurance. The Australian citizens have the option of hospital or extra cover and few hospital expenses can be covered along with it including medical treatments, hospital bills and ambulance costs. Medicare scheme usually covers the public health system in Australia for many residents but private health insurance is more popular than it. If a person has extra cover then their medical services or complementary treatments costs including dental, chiropractic, optical etc. will be paid off.
Medicare which is a public insurance program funded by tax provides coverage of universal health care for the people of Australia so that they can receive treatment in public hospital free of cost as well as subsidized payments that can be given to the health professionals for providing particular services.
Some people purchase both health insurance to get advantage of both private and public hospital services whereas international students have to purchase the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the whole time spend or as long as they stay in Australia. Doctor visits, few hospital treatment, ambulance cover and basic medicines in limited quantity are all covered by OSHC. One can plan accordingly after gathering some information about the health insurance system in Australia or they may take some advice from the school department or their sponsoring agency.
International students who are pursuing higher education along with their dependents are required to purchase OSHC. There are varieties of OSHC products ranging from basic level to comprehensive level that are available by the OSHC insurers. The basic products only include necessary minimum services while the comprehensive products include necessary minimum services as well as extra services as mentioned in the specific policy related to it. The information about providers and average cost of these products is available on the website of Department of health. International students can also purchase private health insurance if OSHC is not enough for them. One should be careful while purchasing health care insurance because there are huge differences between benefits, membership costs and eligibility criteria of funds and insurance policies so make the selection according to your needs. In addition to this, adequate health insurance which is OSHC has to be maintained by the international student as long as they are staying in Australia on their student visa. Student and any family member living with them have to abide by this condition. There is a different arrangement proposed for the students who belong to Sweden, Norway and Belgium under national scheme of each country. According to OSHC, international student is the one who has student visa, applied for student visa and bridging visa. Student can either select the provider by himself but it should be approved by OSHC or education provider to purchase the OSHC. It does not matter how you purchased it, you still have to maintain it as long as you stay in Australia.
There are few Australian health funds who have signed a legal agreement, which is known as deed, with the Commonwealth so international students can purchase OSHC policies from them as they deliver such services. The number of private health insurers in Australia who have signed this agreement is four. These include Peoplecare Health Limited (Allianz Global Assistance offers OSHC products and policies under an arrangement with Peoplecare), BUPA Australia, Medibank Private Limited and NIB Health Funds Limited. They all provide health care insurance services and products. Student can directly contact these insurers to ask any question related to OSHC. All of these insurers have to comply with the conditions specified by the deed for the provision of Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which is a legal agreement in order to deliver OSHC policies to international students living for temporary period. Any other insurer is not allowed to offer OSHC policies because the Government of Australia has to look after and regulate the insurers so that interests of people can be protected. If the insurer is not in Australia then Government of Australia cannot monitor it. In case of any issue, the person can first contact his insurer to solve that issue as soon as possible but if they fail to solve it then the person can take his complaint to Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO).