Health insurance

If you come to Australia on a student visa, you must have the correct level of health insurance.

The minimum level of health insurance for international students studying in Australia is known as Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). You and your dependants must have OSHC as a condition of your student visa, unless you are one of the exceptions described below.

If you’re here on a visa other than a student visa, you aren’t eligible for OSHC and need to arrange your own health insurance.

You don't need to get OSHC if you are:

  • a Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme
  • a Swedish student covered by CSN International or Kammarkollegiet
  • a Belgian student covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.

If your country has a reciprocal healthcare arrangement with Australia, you’ll be eligible to get a reciprocal healthcare card. To get your card, visit a Centrelink or Medicare office in Australia with your passport and visa.

Please note visitors from reciprocal countries may be entitled to limited subsidised health services only.  Any Medicare coverage you are entitled to under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement will be in addition to OSHC. Having reciprocal access to Medicare does not exempt you from needing to take out OSHC.

See if your country has a reciprocal healthcare agreement

You can either purchase your OSHC through La Trobe or you can arrange your own.

If you purchase your OSHC through us, you will need to pay the OSHC premium for the entire length of your course with your first tuition fees payment. This means you are covered from the day you arrive in Australia. We will also advise the Department of Home Affairs of your OSHC status on your behalf.

If you'd prefer to arrange your own OHSC, you can do this through any government-approved OSHC provider.

If you stay in Australia longer than originally planned, you’ll need to extend your OSHC. You can do this by contacting your OSHC provider directly.

We have an agreement with Medibank to provide health cover for our international students. If you purchase OSHC through us, Medibank will be your OSHC provider.

Once you arrive in Australia, you’ll need to activate your membership. You can do this:

  • via the Medibank OSHC app (download ‘Medibank OSHC App’ via the Apple or Google Play store)
  • online.

The Medibank OSHC app is helpful for finding your nearest doctor who is partnered with Medibank, making claims for most medical services, viewing your digital membership card and more.

What does Medibank cover?

Your Medibank OSHC coverage includes 100 per cent of ambulance callout costs or emergency transportation to a hospital. Make sure you read Medibank's OSHC brochure to learn more about eligibility, periods of cover, general exclusions, benefits payable and more.

Read the brochure [PDF 1.2MB]

Contacting Medibank

Once you’re here, you can contact Medibank directly with any questions. If you’re studying at the Melbourne (Bundoora) Campus, you can speak to a representative in person. The representative is available 10 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday at the Library.

If you’re not studying at the Melbourne Campus, you can:

  • contact Medibank via the ‘Medibank OSHC’ smartphone app
  • contact Medibank by phone on 1800 887 283 any time, day or night. The Medibank phone service offers health advice from a registered nurse, counselling, interpreter services in over 160 languages and more
  • visit your closest Medibank branch during opening hours.

In the first few weeks after your arrival, we recommend you find a medical clinic close to your campus or accommodation. Keep a note of their contact details so you can easily make an appointment when you need to.

In Australia, the local doctor is called a general practitioner, or a GP. You should contact a GP for minor medical issues such as stomach aches, coughs or fevers.

Your GP can prescribe medicine to treat your condition or refer you for a blood test, X-ray or to a specialist doctor if needed. If your GP prescribes you medicine, you can buy it at a pharmacy (drug store), also known as a chemist. Pharmacies also stock a range of general health supplies you can buy without a prescription.

You should only contact a hospital if it’s an emergency. If you experience an emergency and urgently need police, fire or ambulance services, call 000.

In Australia, some medical clinics are ‘bulk-billed’. This means you won't need to pay any fees for your appointment. If a clinic doesn’t offer bulk billing, you may need to pay a small upfront fee (known as a ‘gap’ fee) for your appointment. It’s a good idea to contact your preferred clinic before your appointment to find out whether they offer bulk billing.

Some of our campuses have medical centres that offer bulk billing to international students, such as the La Trobe Medical Centre at the Melbourne Campus. To access their services, please provide your up-to-date OSHC card or policy and your student ID card.