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Overseas student health cover

As an international student, it is a requirement of your student visa that you have student health cover for the duration of your study in Australia.  Bupa is the University's chosen OSHC provider.  When students receive an offer to study at USQ, students have the option to allow USQ to organise OSHC (only if through our preferred provider Bupa).  This happens when:
  1. You have paid the full amount of tuition and OSHC fees due to the University.  When paid, USQ will advise Bupa that you have paid your fees; and
  2. Bupa then registers you as a member, and issues a membership card.  This will be send to the address that you have registered in Australia.  If you do not have a postal address in Australia, your card will be sent to University, or residential college.

If you do not wish to use Bupa, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have OSHC that is current for the duration of your student visa


* COVID-19 Bupa OSHC INFORMATION - If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 and Bupa OSHC, please check out the Q&A Factsheet (161 KB).


What does Bupa cover?


Hospital expenses covered

In most cases, we will pay for these services when you’re in hospital including:

  • accommodation for overnight or same-day hospital stays

  • operating theatre, intensive care and labour ward fees

  • medication provided to you as part of your in-hospital treatment under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)

  • physiotherapy, occupational therapy and dietetics and other allied health services provided in hospital

  • surgically implanted prostheses up to the approved minimum benefits in the Government Prostheses List that used as part of your surgery

  • private room where available

Medical expenses covered

Each doctor or specialist that treats you will charge a fee for the service they provide. This also includes most tests you may be sent to have by your doctor including pathology and radiology services.

There is a set fee for each service, which is called the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee. If your doctor charges you 100% of the MBS fee then you will be fully covered for treatment in hospital and out of hospital. If your doctor chooses to charge above 100% of the MBS fee then for the part above the MBS fee, you will have to pay it yourself.

Outpatient pharmacy

If you are prescribed pharmacy items by a doctor, specialist or when you have visited hospital and not been admitted, you can claim back $50 per approved prescription item, up to $300.00 (single) or $600.00 (couple/family) per year.

You will have to pay the first $41.00 each time (which is the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule co-payment fee, which is what Australian residents have to pay too).

Emergency Ambulance Services

When being transported to a hospital by any Queensland Ambulance Service give your name, local address and student ID to the paramedic.  This information will ensure you are covered for medical transportation via ambulance to public local hospitals.

What is not covered

  • procedures not approved by the Medical Services Advisory Committee

  • procedures not recognised by Medicare

  • cosmetic surgery (that is not clinically necessary and where benefits are not payable by Medicare)

  • non-emergency ambulance

  • assisted reproductive services

  • experimental treatment

  • repatriation (only covered under Advantage)

  • respite care

  • Extras services such as a dental check-up, physio, podiatry consultations and chiropractic.  Should you wish cover for these ancillary services, please contact Bupa to upgrade your policy.

Waiting Periods

You will need to be a member for a certain amount of time before claiming money back on services. This is called a waiting period.  If you have your condition before joining Bupa we call this a pre-existing condition and we also may not be able to cover you, or you may need to wait until you have completed your waiting period.

Pre-existing conditions

A pre-existing condition is any condition, ailment, or injury, that you had signs or symptoms of during the six months before you joined or upgraded to a higher level of cover with us. It is not necessary that you or your doctor knew what your condition was, or that the condition had been diagnosed.

We may request medical certificates to be completed by your treating doctor/s, if you require treatment in the first 12 months of cover. For more information about pre-existing condition, please refer to the Important Information Guide:

2 months* = Pre-existing conditions, ailments or illnesses of a psychiatric nature

12 months = Pregnancy and birth

12 months = All other pre-existing conditions, ailments or illnesses for hospital and outpatient medical services

Waiting periods do not apply when:

  • To a pre-existing condition, ailment or illness of a psychiatric nature for Advantage OSHC customers.

  • treatment is required as a result of an accident after joining Bupa

  • you have a condition which is defined under the Emergency Treatment as shown below

    • Is in a life threatening situation and requires urgent assessment and resuscitation.

    • Has suspected acute organ or system failure.

    • Has an illness or injury where the function of a body part or organ is acutely threatened.

    • Has a drug overdose, toxic substance or toxin effect.

    • Has psychiatric disturbance whereby the health of the person or other people are at immediate risk.

    • Has severe pain and the function of a body part or organ is suspected to be acutely threatened.

    • Has acute haemorrhaging and requires urgent assessment and treatment.

    • Has a condition that requires immediate admission to avoid imminent threat to their life and where a transfer to another hospital is impractical.

Extras Cover – Ancillary services

What is covered?

With OSHC Extras you can claim benefits for some ancillary services that are included on your cover, as long as benefits are not claimable from a third party.

For example, Medicare may not provide benefits for:

  • The treatment is given by a provider in private practice provider who is recognised by us for benefit purposes.

  • They meet the criteria set out in our policies and Overseas Student Health Cover.

We recommend you contact Bupa before making a booking to confirm how much you can claim and to check that your chosen health service provider is recognised by Bupa.

  • Dental examinations and treatment

  • Glasses and contact lenses

  • Home nursing

  • Acupuncture or other natural therapies

  • Health aids and appliances

  • Eye therapy

  • Physiotherapy

  • Mental health Services (includes psychology and counselling)

  • Speech therapy

  • Chiropractic services

  • Podiatry

  • Occupational therapist

Extras cover allows you to claim benefits for extra services as long as:

  • The treatment is given by a provider in private practice provider who is recognised by us for benefit purposes.

  • They meet the criteria set out in our policies and Overseas Student Health Cover rules and Fund Rules

  • You meet the waiting period and have not reached your yearly limits.

Benefits of Bupa

Bupa offers cover for a range of services:

Bupa contacts

If you would like to contact Bupa to discuss your options or renew your membership or get a quote for insurance, please use any of the contacts provided below

Overseas students:

1800 888 942

(within Australia)


+61 3 9937 4223

(outside Australia)

8:00am – 8:00pm (AEDT) Monday-Friday
9:00am – 1:00pm (AEDT) Saturday

24 hour International Student Advice Line in over 180 languages 1300 884 235


Bupa Stores – Brisbane Toowoomba and Springfield

91 Adelaide Street (Cnr Albert Street),

Brisbane, QLD, 4000

T:  134 135


Shop 64A, Grand Central Shopping Centre

Cnr Margaret Street and Dent Street, Toowoomba, QLD, 4350

T: 134 135


Shop 83, Orion Springfield Central

1 Main Street, Springfield Central, QLD, 4300

T: 134 135

Further information

Further information is available on the Bupa website.