Looking for the cheapest health insurance to meet your visa requirements?
The cheapest and best Overseas Student Health Cover
One of the many visa requirements for international students that intend to study in Australia includes purchasing private health insurance. As many can empathize with, understanding health insurance, let alone insurance in general, is extremely difficult. Knowing the concepts, navigating through jargon of premium, policy, claims and membership is confusing.
Imagine what it is like for an international students considering purchasing health insurance for the first time. It can be daunting not know what you are buying and how to know if it is the cheapest and the best.
If you are an international student considering to study in Australia then this article will help you choose the cheapest international Student health insurance.
Is it necessary to buy international student health insurance?
If you are are an international student planning to study in Australia on a 500 subclass visa (or other international student visa), then it is a requirement that you must purchase private health insurance. The private health insurance is called the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSCH) and a certificate of Proof of Purchase issued by the Private Health Insurance provider must be forwarded to the Department of Home Affairs as part of the visa application.
The Australian Government requires international students to have private health insurance, as the Government understands that health care costs can reach into the thousands of dollars a day, should they need to be provided. Therefore, to protect international students from being unable to pay for health care costs, health insurance is to be purchased.
Often international students will consider private health insurance as a waste of money. International students are generally young and healthy, but that’s not to say, accidents do not happen. In the past year alone, Australians suffered one of the worst flu seasons in memory. Young and old, a like, were being admitted to hospital for treatment of the flu and flow on associated illnesses such as pneumonia.
It is therefore important to have private health insurance for those times in need.
Where can I buy Overseas Student Health Cover (OSCH) from?
You can purchase OSCH online over the internet. It isn’t necessary to speak to a consultant or to be physically present at a retail shop. Health insurance is an intangible contractual promise to pay future health expenses. As such buying OSCH is not the same as renting an apartment or looking for the best university to study at. You don’t have to see a room and you don’t have to see a campus. Instead, a good OSCH cover is about the cheapest premium and the health insurance cover that it provides.
OSHC can only be purchased from permitted Private Health Insurance providers. These health insurance providers have entered into a Deed of Agreement with the Australian Government to provide OSHC.
There are six authorised international student health insurance providers:
- Allianz Global Assistance
- BUPA Australia
- CBHS International Health
- Medibank Private
International Student Health Insurance – OSCH Single Cover Comparison
In comparing the premium pricing by health insurance providers we needed to have a base line for comparison.
In our baseline we selected Single Cover. Single cover means the insurance is for you (the international student) only. If you have a partner (husband/wife, spouse) then you can select Couple Cover. If you have any dependents, such as children, then you can select Family Cover. For ease of comparison, we have selected Single Cover.
We also chose to select one year duration as the comparison for all health insurance policies. In reality the length of cover may be different for you, depending on your circumstances, but for ease of comparison we chose one year.
Some online quote portals ask for your country of passport and where you will be studying in Australia. Not all of them, however, ask this and therefore pricing may differ depending on your passport and where you will study. However, for those portals that asked, we selected China and NSW.
We compared all 6 OSHC providers, entering the details for:
- Single Cover (one person)
- One year duration
- Assumption is from China (if asked for by the insurance provider)
- Assumption is NSW for location of study (if asked for by the insurance provider)
- Date of Birth is 01/01/2000
- 500 Student Visa Subclass
With the results the premium charge in AUD (including GST) are as follows:
- CBHS Health – $425.24
- ahm – $480.65
- nib – $481.67
- Medibank Private – $516.00
- BUPA Australia – $516.12
- Allianz Global Assistance – $575.00
The cheapest is by far is CBHS Health at $425 per year; with Allianz Global Assistance the most expensive at $575 per year.
If you would like to see the details, you can scroll down to see all the screenshots from the health insurance online portals.
1. Cheapest – CBHS Single Cover
Coming up as the cheapest international insurance provider is CBHS.
The portal asks for your Passport country and the state in which you will study. It also asks for your date of birth and visa class. This is by far the most accurate pricing portal for international students.
Please note that at the time of writing, the CBHS single cover premium is the same premium for having no student visa or with a student visa.
2. Next cheapest – ahm Single Cover Quote
ahm has the second cheapest OSHC premium. Please note: that it is a brand of Medibank Private, which also sells its own OSHC.
3. Third cheapest – nib OSHC Single Cover
4. Fourth cheapest – Medibank Private Single Cover
5. Second most expensive – BUPA Australia Single Cover
6. Most Expensive – Allianz Global Assistance Single Cover Quote
Allianz Global Assistance is the by far the most expensive. Although 1 year was entered into the Quote calculator, the results appears as if the coverage is for 13 months. Assuming that it is for 13 months, even converting to 12 months, the policy is still very expensive.