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Do I Need To Extend My Health Cover If I Extend My Visa?

Canstar answers some frequently asked questions about renewing your visa and your health cover.

Whether you have a student visa or a working visa, you have to buy health insurance to cover you for the entire time you are in Australia. So what if you are extending your visa?

My visa is about to expire. Do I need to renew my health cover?

If you are renewing a student visa or working visa, you must renew your OSHC or working visa health cover before you apply for an extension to your visa or apply for a new visa. You must have OSHC health cover or working visa health cover as long as you remain in Australia.

You don’t have to stay with the same insurance company if you feel like you paid too much for your previous health cover. You can find a new insurance company on our website:

Compare OSHC Student Health Cover

Compare Working Visa Health Cover

How do I renew my OSHC?

With most OSHC insurance companies, you can renew your OSHC policy:

  • Online (prepay for your policy using a credit card)
  • On campus at your university (some institutions can receive your OSHC prepayment on behalf of the insurance company)
  • By post (send a printed renewal form together with a money order or cheque by post)

Once you have renewed your OSHC policy, you will receive a new membership card showing the new expiry for your policy. Then you can apply for an extension to your student visa or apply for a new student visa with the Department of Immigration.

Before you renew your OSHC, compare OSHC policies on our website and choose the best policy for you:

Compare OSHC Student Health Cover with Canstar

How do I renew my working visa health cover?

With most working visa health insurance companies, you can renew your policy:

  • Online
  • By post (send a printed renewal form together with a money order or cheque by post)

Once you have renewed your working visa health cover, you will receive a new membership card showing the new expiry for your policy. Then you can apply for an extension to your working visa or apply for a new working visa with the Department of Immigration.

Before you renew your working visa health cover, compare policies on our website and choose the best policy for you:

Compare Working Visa Health Cover with Canstar

What if I forget to renew my health cover?

woman forgetting to renew health insurance

If your OSHC health cover lapses (expires) while you are in Australia on a student visa, you can still renew your OSHC for the rest of your student visa, but you will need to pay the premiums for the lapsed period when you did not have cover. You will not be able to claim any benefits on your health cover during the lapsed period of your OSHC.

If your working visa health cover lapses (expires) while you are in Australia on a working visa, your visa will no longer be valid and you will have to apply for health cover and then apply for a new visa. So you should try not to let your working visa health cover expire. Renew your working visa health cover before you renew your working visa.

I’m not extending my visa. Can I get a refund if I leave Australia before my OSHC expires?

You can apply to get a refund of part of the premiums you paid for your OSHC policy if:

  • You paid your premium but you did not come to Australia after all. (You will get a full refund.)
  • You paid your premium for OSHC on the basis of extending your student visa, but your application to extend your student visa has been rejected by the Department of Immigration.
  • You have to stop studying and leave Australia before the end of your student visa, for reasons beyond your control.
  • You are granted permanent residency in Australia.
  • You held a valid student visa but were not living in Australia for 3 months or more in a row.
  • You are already covered with OSHC from a different insurance company. (You will need to provide proof such as a certificate of insurance.)

To get a refund, you will need to apply in writing to your OSHC insurance company. Most insurance companies charge a fee to process your refund.

Refunds are calculated monthly, usually with a minimum refund of 1 month’s premium, so your refund will only be for the months you had left on your visa.

If you are in Australia at the time when you cancel your OSHC and apply for a refund, you will have to pay a minimum of 3 months’ worth of premiums. You will be refunded for the other months’ worth of premiums, though.

Compare overseas visitors health insurance (OVHC)

If you are looking for OVHC, find the insurance that provides outstanding value for international students or international workers. Compare features and costs for OVHC in Australia on the CANSTAR website

Compare OSHC Student Health Cover with Canstar

Compare Working Visa Health Cover with Canstar

 

Find out more about OSHC with our latest star ratings report:

OSHC Star Ratings - Canstar

Working Visa Health Cover Star Ratings - Canstar

The inclusions mentioned represent a selection of what is covered at the time of writing. Additional terms and conditions may apply to different features. Additional fees may apply to the product. CANSTAR is not making any suggestion or recommendation to you about this product. Please ensure that you read the product disclosure statement (PDS) to determine all the current options and inclusions for the product you are considering.

CANSTAR is an information provider and in giving you product information CANSTAR is not making any suggestion or recommendation about a particular insurance product. If you decided to apply for an insurance policy, you will deal directly with an insurance provider, and not with CANSTAR. Premiums, coverage, benefit limits, and product information should be confirmed with the relevant insurance provider. For more information, read our detailed disclosure and our Financial Services and Credit Guide.

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