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Cost of Health Insurance in Australia for International Students

Cost of Health Insurance in Australia for International Students

The cost of health insurance in Australia is shaped by multiple factors, including age, lifestyle choices, and the level of coverage desired. It's crucial for individuals, including residents and international visitors, to grasp these aspects to choose a policy that meets their health needs while remaining affordable. Interested to learn more in-depth about the Cost of Health Insurance in Australia for International Students? Then you're at the right place! Read on further as we unveil to you all the necessary information that you seek.

Do you know how much the cost of health insurance in Australia for international students is? Do you wish to know about the cheapest health insurance for international students in Australia?

  • Mandatory OSHC: Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is required for international students in Australia to ensure access to necessary healthcare services.
  • Cost Influences: Health insurance premiums are influenced by age, lifestyle, level of coverage, and government policies.
  • Cost Range: OSHC annual costs range from $438 to $609 for singles, and family coverage can vary from $2,685 to $4,087.

Why Are International Students Required to Have OSHC?

In Australia, the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a mandatory requirement for international students. This mandate is not arbitrary; it's designed to ensure that students from abroad have access to the necessary healthcare services without bearing the high costs often associated with medical treatment. Australia's healthcare system, while comprehensive, can be expensive for those not covered under its Medicare system, which primarily serves Australian citizens and permanent residents.

OSHC acts as a safety net, offering coverage for a range of medical services, from doctor's visits and emergency care to some prescription medications and hospital treatments. The requirement underscores Australia's commitment to the health and well-being of international students, ensuring they receive the same level of care as locals in many respects. It also reflects the country's understanding of the challenges international students might face in navigating a foreign healthcare system, especially in times of illness or injury.

How Does Health Insurance in Australia Work?

  • Australia's Health Insurance System: Dual structure with public and private sectors.
    • Medicare: Government-funded, providing essential health services at low/no cost for Australians and some visitors.
    • Private Health Insurance: Offers extra coverage (dental, optical, physiotherapy) and private hospital care.
  • Enrollment in Medicare is vital for residents to access public healthcare.
  • Private Health Insurance or OSHC is essential for international visitors and students for comprehensive health coverage.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Health Insurance

The cost of health insurance in Australia is influenced by a variety of factors, making it important for individuals to understand these elements to choose the best plan for their needs:

  • Age and Life Stage: Premiums can increase as you age, with higher costs for older individuals.
  • Level of Coverage: More comprehensive plans with fewer out-of-pocket expenses typically come with higher premiums.
  • Location: Costs can vary by state due to differences in health services and demand.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Smoking or having a pre-existing medical condition can increase premiums.
  • Government Policies: Initiatives like the Medicare Levy Surcharge, Private Health Insurance Rebate, and Lifetime Health Cover loading can impact costs.
  • Type of Policy: Whether you're opting for singles, couples, or family coverage affects the price.
  • Excess/Deductibles: Choosing a higher excess can lower your premium, but you'll pay more out-of-pocket if you need treatment.

How Much Does Health Insurance Cost?

The cost of health insurance in Australia, particularly for international students through Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), varies based on several factors including the provider, the level of coverage, and the duration of the policy. Here's a breakdown to give you a clearer idea:

  • Single Coverage: Typically ranges from $438 to $609 per year.
  • Couple/Family Coverage: This can range from $2,685 to $4,087 per year, depending on the number of dependents and the level of coverage.

Average Cost of Extras Cover

Extras cover in Australia is designed to cover services not included in Medicare or basic health insurance policies, such as dental, optical, and physiotherapy. The cost of extra cover can vary widely based on the level of cover and the services included. Here's an average cost breakdown in table format: 

Level of Cover

Average Annual Cost


$165 - $350


$350 - $750


$750 - $1,500

These costs are averages and can vary based on the insurer and the specific inclusions of the policy. Extras cover can be tailored to suit individual needs, allowing policyholders to prioritise the services most important to them.

What Does Hospital-Only Cover Cost?

The hospital-only cover is designed to pay for part or all the costs of hospital treatment, providing more choices regarding the doctor and hospital. The cost of hospital-only cover depends on the level of cover chosen:

  • Public Hospital Cover: Generally ranges from $75 to $110 per month.
  • Private Hospital Cover: Can range from $125 to over $250 per month, depending on the level of cover and the deductible/excess.

Benefits of OSHC in Australia

The Benefits of OSHC in Australia are manifold, offering international students comprehensive health coverage and peace of mind during their studies:

  • Compliance with Visa Requirements: OSHC is a mandatory requirement for international student visas, ensuring students meet Australian Government regulations.
  • Wide-ranging Medical Coverage: From GP visits to hospital treatments and emergency services, OSHC ensures students are covered for a broad spectrum of medical needs.
  • Access to Quality Healthcare: Students can access Australia's high-quality healthcare system without facing prohibitive costs, ensuring prompt and effective treatment.
  • Financial Security: OSHC protects students from unexpected medical expenses, providing financial security and allowing them to focus on their studies.
  • Mental Health Support: Many OSHC plans include coverage for mental health services, supporting students' well-being throughout their educational journey.

Is Health Insurance Worth It?

Deciding whether health insurance is worth the investment depends on your personal health needs, financial situation, and priorities. In Australia, health insurance offers several benefits that can make it a worthwhile consideration:

  • Access to Private Healthcare: Private health insurance allows you to bypass long waiting lists for certain medical procedures, offering faster access to treatment.
  • Choice of Provider: You can choose your own doctor and hospital, giving you more control over your healthcare experience.
  • Coverage for Extras: Many private health insurances plans cover services not included in Medicare, such as dental, optical, and physiotherapy.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing you're covered for unexpected medical issues can provide significant peace of mind, especially for those with families or specific health concerns.

In Australia, health insurance costs are influenced by a range of personal and policy-related factors. By understanding these influences and carefully evaluating their options, individuals can find an insurance plan that provides both comprehensive coverage and value, ensuring they are well-protected against health-related expenses.

Looking to understand the cost of health insurance in Australia? AECC is here to help you find the perfect policy that fits your needs and budget. Click here to explore your options and secure your health future with AECC today! 


What affects health insurance costs in Australia?

Costs vary by age, lifestyle, coverage level, location, government policies, and chosen excess/deductibles. 

How does coverage level impact premiums?

 Basic plans are cheaper, while comprehensive plans, offering more services, cost more.

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