Frequently asked questions


If I join, when will my cover start?

The student visa requires you to have cover from the day you arrive in Australia, but you will need to buy your cover earlier to help with your student visa application.

If you are still overseas when you join and pay your premium, you’ll be asked to nominate your date of arrival. This date will be the commencement date of your cover and the day that the cover becomes active.If you need to change this date, please call us toll-free on 1800 888 942 (within Australia) or 61 3 9937 4223 from overseas.

How do I know which OSHC dates to select?

OSHC start date

Your Overseas Student Health Policy start date should be the same day you arrive in Australia. If you’re unsure of your course start date, please choose a date up to 28 days before your course starts.


If you are switching courses or switching from another OSHC provider choose the day after your current OSHC expires.

As a student, you must be continuously covered by OSHC for the duration of your time in Australia. You otherwise risk breaching your student visa requirements.

OSHC end date

Your Overseas Student health cover (OSHC) must cover the entire duration of your student visa. Please refer to the table below for the maximum duration of your grant:

Duration of cover Add to your course end date
10 months or less 1 month
Over 10 months ending between January and October    2 months
Over 10 months ending in November or December Select 15th March of the next year

For example, if your course runs from 1 March 2017 to 1 September 2017 (which is under 10 months) then add one month to your course end date. In this example your OSHC policy dates would be 1 March 2017 to 1 October 2017.

What happens if I get sick and do not yet have a Bupa membership card?

If you need medical treatment once you have arrived in Australia but do not yet have your membership card, you will need to pay at the time of your treatment and then make a claim.  We’ll then reimburse you with the amount you’re eligible for on your Overseas Student Health Cover.

When do I need to pay my premium?

International students must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the proposed duration of their student visa. So, you will need to purchase OSHC upfront to cover the entire period of the student visa you are applying for.

This means you can have peace of mind, because you will not need to worry about renewing your membership unless you decide to stay and study in Australia for longer.

What if my OSHC expires?

If your OSHC cover expires you will not be covered for treatment or services while you are uninsured. You’ll also be in breach of your student visa which could cause a problem if you wish to extend your visa.

Illnesses and accidents can happen unexpectedly and if you’re not covered, hospital and medical care can be expensive for visitors. Also, as a condition of your visa, you’ll need to pay the premiums you would have paid had you not allowed your cover to expire.

How do I transfer my OSHC from another fund?

You can transfer between OSHC providers without penalty as long as your cover is up-to-date. If you transfer to Bupa OSHC, you will simply need to provide proof of your previous OSHC. You will need to nominate a start date for your new Bupa OSHC. This should be the day after your previous OSHC policy expires, to make sure you have “continuous” cover. Or, we can switch you to Bupa today, and assist you with getting a refund from your previous provider.

Plus, your period of membership with another provider will transfer across so you may not need to re-serve any waiting periods as long as there is no lapse in your membership. If you were covered by your previous provider for less than 12 months, you can serve the remainder of the waiting period on your Bupa OSHC.

To arrange your transfer to Bupa OSHC, please email us at, or call us toll-free on 1800 888 942 (within Australia).

Does my OSHC cover me outside Australia?

No, your OSHC only covers you for medical and hospital treatment for services rendered while you are in Australia.

What if I have a brother or sister who wishes to come to Australia with me during my study period?

Other or extended members of your family cannot be covered by your Bupa OSHC. If they have their own overseas student visa, they will need to purchase their own Bupa OSHC single, couple or family membership. If they are working in Australia or just visiting, we have other covers specifically designed for visitors called overseas visitor cover, which can provide the same high level of medical and hospital cover that you enjoy under your OSHC.

How do I contact Bupa?

You can contact us between 8am and 6pm (AEST) on 1800 888 942 from within Australia or 61 3 9937 4223 from overseas. You can also email us at for a response within three business days.

How can I make a complaint

Your feedback is important to us so please feel free to contact us anytime.

Where can I find the Terms and Conditions about my policy

The Terms and Conditions for your policy with Bupa can be found in the Overseas Student Health Cover Fund Rules. You can access this document here: .

Does my compliant OSHC policy include dental, chiro and physio?

No, the standard Australian OSHC policy does not cover you for dental and other ancillary services such as physio, podiatry consultations, optical and chiro. Click here to get covered today.

What is a Bupa Members First provider?

Bupa Members First is an extensive network of healthcare professionals including dental, optical, physiotherapy, chiropractic and podiatry providers. OSHC Extras (which differs from your visa compliant OSHC) is available exclusively through this network with the benefit of 100% cover on the set number of included services (subject to yearly visit limits). This means that you won’t have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses when you visit a Members First network provider. OSHC Extras does not cover any consultations at non-Bupa Members First healthcare providers.

Can I take out Bupa OSHC Extras, even though my DIBP compliant OSHC is with another provider?

Yes, you can take out Bupa OSHC Extras cover, even if your DIPB compliant OSHC is with another provider. Learn more here.

How do I update my address?

It is important that you provide us with an Australian address so we can send you your permanent membership card once you arrive in Australia. Your membership card is required to use your health insurance. The easiest way to update your address is to use myBupa. You can register for myBupa using the instructions below;

  • Have your Bupa Membership number at hand.
  • Register for myBupa at
  • Under the ‘I’d like to…’ section of the Home page, select ‘Update my personal details’
  • Select ‘Membership Address’.
  • Add or update your address and click ‘submit’.
How do I order a Bupa OSHC membership card?

Once you’ve arrived, you will first need to make sure your Australian address is up-to-date in myBupa before you go ahead and order your OSHC card. Your OSHC membership card is necessary to use your health cover and is easy to do, please follow the steps below: 

  • Login to myBupa
  • Then click the ‘Cover’ option, you’ll find this in the menu on the Home Page
  • Next, click ‘Order a membership card’
  • Check your contact details are correct
  • Then select ‘Order’

If your university has organised your OSHC for you, they will most likely have your card. Please check with your university or your Bupa on-campus support person before ordering a new card.