What is OSHC?

Overseas Student Health Cover is a compulsory requirement of a Student visa subclass 500 however, if you are a student from the following countries – Sweden, Norway or Belgium, you may not need to include OSHC in your visa. In such cases, there are special health insurance requirements laid down by the respective country’s governments.

You can check for the requirements on the website of the Department of Home Affairs to know if you need to apply for the OSHC policy or not. OSHC consists of private and public hospital visits, accommodations, emergency ambulance services, doctor’s and specialist appointments, medical test costs, and certain prescription medication costs.

Health insurers dealing in OSHC provide a variety of plans that are different in terms of cover. The compulsory or basic coverage of all OSHC plans include private and public hospital visits, accommodations, emergency ambulance services, doctor’s and specialist appointments, medical test costs and certain prescription medication costs. Whereas, additional services includes dental care and physiotherapy. Being additional benefits, you will have to pay an additional cost. Therefore, we suggest you do extensive research to know a provider who covers benefits based on your health needs.

In addition, you need to ensure that your OSHC policy is valid and up-to-date. In addition, it covers only until the time you are in Australia. For example, your student visa lasts for 2 years, your OSHC policy will also last for the same time.

Moving to a new country can be quite challenging, and on top of that, understanding a new healthcare system can be more difficult. Hence, there are health insurance providers to help you throughout the process. We suggest you to buy your OSHC policy from a registered health insurance provider than buying it on your own.

What is OVHC?

Overseas Visitor Health Cover is different from OSHC, which is specially designed for people moving to Australia on working and visitor visas. The working and visitor visa types are subclass 417, 462, and 600. However, with these visas, it is not mandatory to have health cover. The reason is, you only have to meet certain health requirements laid down by the government of Australia. Still, we suggest you to take care of your health and medical expenses by buying adequate overseas visitor health insurance.

On the other hand, for other visas than aforesaid visas, it is mandatory to buy an OVHC. For instance, many overseas students switch from a student visa to a Provisional Graduate visa (subclass 485), which requires OVHC more than OSHC to meet visa condition 8501. This means that your OSHC will not cover you if you are holding a subclass 485 visa. As an outcome, it is essential to be aware of the requirements for different visas at the time you are planning to switch.

In addition, when you are making the switch from OSHC to OVHC, there are a few essential considerations to keep in mind. First, understand the level of cover you want for your OVHC, for example, you need a basic plan or an upper one. You can also add extra benefits by paying an extra amount. The more benefits you have, the less expenses you will have to make from your side. Dental treatments are usually the most expensive of all the extra coverages.

You can also change your health insurance provider if you feel at any time, however, if you are fine with the current one; ensure you are receiving all your coverage benefits on time. In case of any delays, inform your provider immediately.

Differences between OSHC and OVHC

Although, both OSHC and OVHC covers basic requirements however, there is a key difference between them, i.e., OVHC is usually paid on a monthly basis, which amounts somewhere between $50-$200 per month based on your insurance provider and OVHC plan. On the other hand, you can also pay fortnightly.

In comparison to OVHC, OSHC is prepaid for the time of your student visa. This means you will have to pay the complete amount either in lump sum beforehand.


If you have any further queries regarding your OSHC or OVHC policy, consult with Budget Policy to ensure a seamless process.

By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod is an Editor of Appclonescript.com, who is passionate for app-based startup solutions and on-demand business ideas. He believes in spreading tech trends. He is an avid reader and loves thinking out of the box to promote new technologies.