OSHC pays limited benefits for pharmaceuticals and ambulance services.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection requires overseas students to maintain OSHC for the duration of time they are in Australia.
There are exceptions to this rule; some students do not need to take out OSHC. These include Norwegian students covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme, Swedish students covered by Kammarkollegiet and Belgian students covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.
Five OSHC providers operate in Australia. These are:
- Australian Health Management
- Allianz Global Assistance (subcontracted by Peoplecare Health)
- BUPA Australia
- Medibank Private
Students with issues and grievances relating to their OSHC can contact the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO). The PHIO provides a free independent service to help consumers with health insurance problems and enquiries. The PHIO can deal with complaints from health fund members, health funds, private hospitals or medical practitioners. Complaints must be about a health insurance arrangement.