If you want to, you can download the new COVIDSafe app from the Australian Government. The COVIDSafe app speeds up contacting people exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19). This helps the government support and protect you, your friends and family. However, it is entirely optional and you are not required to use it.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is the health insurance you are required to have as an international student here in Australia.
Medibank comprehensive insurance is the preferred cover for all UNSW students and the information provided here relates directly to Medibank OSHC, although all health insurances cover basic medical and hospital care.
Medibank have extended their helpline services to ALL UNSW students, domestic and overseas, even if you are not a Medibank OSHC-holder.
- Domestic students can call 1800 887 283
- Overseas students can call +61(2)89050307
What do I need to do to activate my insurance?
Make sure to download the app to activate your card. This way you always have a copy of your healthcare card on you so long as you have your phone. Don’t have a smart phone? No problem, activate your OSHC cover here and get a physical card sent to where you live. Having difficulties activating your card? Check out this step-by-step video.
What costs are covered if I get COVID19?
- OSHC covers you for COVID-19 testing and treatment.
- You can visit the doctor in Australia when you are sick or the hospital for an emergency with limited out of pocket costs.
- If you are hospitalised in a public or private hospital for COVID-19, Medibank will cover eligible expenses.
- If you require an ambulance to take you to hospital due to a medical emergency this is also covered.
For more information about what costs Medibank OSHC will cover towards COVID-19 testing and treatment, review page 3 of the Medibank COVID-19 FAQs.
If you are insured with Medibank OSHC, AHM, Allianz or BUPA, you will have no out-of-pocket costs for your doctor's appointment at the UNSW Health Service. Your appointment will be bulk-billed.
What is bulk-billing?
Bulk billing is the term used in Australia to refer to healthcare services that are provided at no cost to the patient. Rather than paying a fee for your visit and then seeking a partial rebate through your health insurer, your medical practitioner will bill your health insurer directly, leaving you with no out-of-pocket expenses.
Doctors are not required to bulk bill. It is at the discretion of the practice. So it is a good idea to check first. Medibank also provides a list of doctors who bulk-bill on the OSHC app.
What should I do if I am feeling sick?
- If you are unwell or concerned about your health you should isolate yourself in a room away from others, contact your GP or a health professional. You should call ahead, explaining your symptoms and travel history, rather than attend in person.
- Remain in isolation while waiting for results of the assessment.
- For advice on when to seek medical attention, refer to NSW Health.
- The UNSW Health Service can be contacted on (02) 9385 5425 from Monday-Friday between 8.15am and 5.15pm.
- The federal Department of Health has set up a 24-hour COVID-19 Health Information Line at 1800 020 080.
- Overseas students can call the Medibank OSHC Health and Support Line on 1800 887 283.
- For health concerns not related to Covid-19, NSW Health has a free helpline, Health Direct, at 1800 022 222. Registered nurses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide advice. (*Calls are free from a landline; charges may apply from a mobile phone.)
- NSW Health has arranged for medical fees to be waived and covered for any international student who seeks treatment in relation to COVID-19.
How do I stay well at home?
Caring for your health and wellbeing just got a little bit harder. But the good news is there’s a lot of online support. Check out our resources to maintain your health and wellbeing here and visit Medibank’s Live Better at home where famous health experts share short videos and daily meditations.
Why is the health advice different here than in my home country?
The restrictions and health recommendations are set locally by governments under guidance from the World Health Organisation. Different governments will set different restrictions based on a number of factors including their population’s demographics, healthcare system, borders and economy.
Australia’s response appears to be working as the number of new cases reported daily appears to be stabilising. This is thanks to the efforts we have been all been making to help limit the spread.
I am feeling really homesick and I am worried about my family. What should I do?
It is normal to feel homesick or anxious at the moment. It is important to look after your mental health and stay connected with your loved ones through social media, video calls and messages. Stay engaged with university life through Arc’s wide range of online programs.
Remember that it is okay to speak to someone about how you are feeling. You can speak to one of our friendly International Student Advisors or CAPS counsellors confidentially for some useful strategies to manage homesickness.
Can I call Medibank for advice?
The Medibank Student Health and Support Line is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Call 1800 887 283.
Seeking help is private between you and Medibank.
If you are unsure about what to do in any situation, have any questions about how you are feeling, or would like to speak to someone about stress or worries or your mental health, call the Medibank Student Health and Support Line.
If you are more comfortable chatting to Medibank in a language other than English, this can be arranged.
Will seeking help or the information I give to Medibank affect my visa?
No. Your conversations with Medibank are completely confidential. They will not have an impact on your student visa or enrolment at UNSW.
What if I have to extend my visa?
If you need to extend your visa you will also have to extend your OSHC. Learn more here.