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.

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: .