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What Does It Cost?
While Australian citizens can access the Medicare system to help them pay for health services, international students don't have access to this system. This is why having Overseas Student Health Cover is so important.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) will help you to cover the cost of any medical or emergency care you receive while you're in Australia. If you see a doctor who 'direct bills', you're less likely to have to pay for your visit when than you are if you go to a doctor who doesn't direct bill. It's therefore important to make sure you ask your doctor if they direct bill when you make your first appointment.
Direct billing is an arrangement between your health insurance provider and your doctor (or another medical facility), in which the doctor sends the bill for their services directly to your health insurance company. This means that you don't have to make a claim with your insurance company, but it doesn't always mean that the whole of your bill will be covered. To make absolutely sure you that you won't have to pay anything for your appointment, you should also ask whether there will be any 'gap' or 'co-payment'. If there is, this means you'll need to pay the difference between what the doctor charges and what your OSHC provider pays. Depending on what the doctor charges, this amount can be quite substantial, so it's worth checking!
If you attend the University Health clinic on the North Terrace Campus you'll be direct billed and there won't be any co-payment.
Not all health services are covered by OSHC - for example, optical (eye) and dental (teeth) treatments are generally not covered - so you should always check your policy before having any treatment. If you want to have optical and dental treatments covered by your OSHC, you'll need to take out a policy with 'extras'. You can also get 'extras' cover for 'allied health care' services such as physiotherapy, chiropractic and osteopathy, but be aware that this will make your policy more expensive.
If you have to attend a public hospital as an in-patient (that is, if you stay in hospital overnight while you're being treated) then you won't be charged any fees. However, if you attend a private hospital then you'll be charged for the services they provide and there will be only very limited reimbursement. OSHC generally doesn't cover stays in private hospitals.