It’s not out of the question that you might want to switch OSHC funds during your studies. You might find out that another fund can provide a different (or cheaper) level of cover than you currently hold. Or you might need to switch OSHC providers for another reason.
Can I switch OSHC providers?
The good news is that you can, and it’s not a particularly difficult process. How to switch OSHC funds depends on whether you want to interrupt your current policy, or renew with a different fund after your current policy expires.
How do I switch OSHC funds in the middle of my policy term?
The Department of Health advises that you can switch OSHC funds at any time, but that you may incur a refund processing fee if you do so.
If you switch funds midway through your current policy, you will be entitled to a refund if you paid your initial premium in advance.
In order to obtain a refund, you will need to arrange your new OSHC policy first, and be able to provide proof of your new policy to your current OSHC provider. You will also need to be able to demonstrate that your new policy overlaps with the insured period provided by your previous policy.
It’s important to note that the time you spent covered by your previous policy will count towards any waiting periods imposed by your new OSHC fund as long as you have cover the whole time you are in Australia. There cannot be any gap between your previous policy and your new policy.
You can search for a new OSHC fund using the Canstar OSHC comparison website:
How do I change OSHC funds at the end of my current policy?
While your OSHC policy will cover you for the duration of your student visa, in the case that you extend your visa and require extended OSHC cover, you may choose to change funds.
If you extend your visa and apply to extend your OSHC cover, you can switch to a new OSHC provider by arranging your new policy and then closing your old policy. You do not need to apply for a refund from your former insurer.
If you want to change funds, it’s important to do so before your policy ends, or you may be without OSHC cover for a small period, which would breach the conditions of your student visa. Also, you may incur further costs such as premium payments or fees if you do not change funds before your policy ends and you are not covered for a period of time.
Before you switch OSHC funds…
If you want to switch funds, compare OSHC providers with Canstar to find the policy that’s right for your student visa and your budget: