Reasons for EXORBITANT Pricing: OSHC Couple Insurance

OSHC health insurance is more than a prerequisite for getting a students visa for Australia. As per the regulations of Australian home affairs, it is mandatory for overseas students and their families to maintain adequate health insurance for their entire period of stay in Australia.

The sole exemptions for an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) exist if students are from Sweden, Belgium or Norway – who’re covered under various clauses. For others, it is mandatory. Overseas students from countries like Italy, the United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, Malta, Slovenia, Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, and Belgium have a Reciprocal Health Agreement (RHA) with Australia and are, therefore, eligible under Medicare, Australia’s public healthcare system. Still, students from a majority of these countries need first to maintain an OSHC policy.

For people who question the need of an OSHC cover, a private bed at an Australian hospital with basic medical facilities could cost you as much as 1000 Australian Dollars a day. Too much of a ‘hole in the pocket,’ isn’t it?

Answering your question with basic statistics, if an overseas student looks to buy an OSHC, say, for a period of one month, it costs, at an average, approximately AUD 41. (Varies as per the OSHC provider) Therefore, for a two – year course, a person would end up paying close to 1000 AUD. Again, two persons would end up paying 2000 AUD for the same.

However, in case a couples’ OSHC insurance is taken, for the same month taken for individual calculation, it would, at an average end up costing them AUD 250 for a month and as much as 3000 AUD for a year. And, for the similar case as mentioned above, a whopping 6000 AUD for a 2-year course!

Just have a look at what has been highlighted. Do you realize that the insurance covered is the same, for the same number of people – two. Then how come the couples’ insurance is three times the cost of 2 individual student insurances? Conventional thinking, however: Isn’t is economically feasible to buy two such individual OSHC policies? Smart savings, isn’t it?

Well, there is a clash of thoughts! As per the Australian home affairs, the OSHC for families or couples need not be combined, and each applicant can take out their covers respectively. (Economically simple and feasible, isn’t it?) But keep in mind, that in almost all cases, the department of home affairs doesn’t have anything else to do wrt. Individual/couple insurance as their primary concern is addressed – You have made arrangements for adequate health insurance for your period of stay in Australia.

However, the policies of insurance companies seem to collide with this view of thought. As per them, a couple is not allowed to have dual individual policies. They MUST have the couple’s insurance.

There is NO CLEAR REASON for the extreme difference in prices, however. Here are a few possible reasons:

  • You might take up two individual policies, but the insurance provider could annul benefits of the claim on the pretext of a wrong insurance cover.
  • A could – be reason for the price difference could be covering of pregnancy & infant – treatment costs by the insurance provider. This again collides with a couple who don’t intend to have a baby during their months of study in Australia. In such cases, there would be unwanted high payments.
  • Even though individual policies are liable to get their visa approved, problems could arise in case of bill clearances. Also, if one of the two members or both visits a doctor, they could still be denied coverage on a pretext of possessing incorrect insurance.
  • In the case of individual policies, your dependents are not covered if there is a need for prolonged treatment. This could result in excessive costs being made out of pocket and worse, you wouldn’t even be able to make a claim for it.

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