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Supporting international students and workers through COVID-19

5 minute read
International student studying in Australia, and learning what nib can provide for her during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last six months, everyone in Australia has been affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) to some extent, but for many overseas workers and international students, there’s a unique set of challenges that have come with the virus.

Trying to remain connected to others during social distancing, and struggling with financial security and uncertainty about the future, can be even harder when you’re living in a foreign country.

At nib, we understand that times are tough for our international members, which is why we’re committed to providing extra support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To help you find the right services and packages for you and your family, we’ve outlined some of the ways you can access the help and support you need during these unprecedented times.

Medical care for COVID-19

During your time in Australia, nib’s international and student members can rest assured that they’ll be able to access medical care for COVID-19 and treatment related to the virus*. If you’re showing symptoms of COVID-19, or you’ve got any questions relating to the virus, you can call the Australian Government’s COVID-19 triage hotline 24/7 on 1800 020 080.

Access to a world-class hospital system

With almost 700 public hospitals and 650 private hospitals across the country, Australia has a multitude of options when it comes to your medical care, as part a healthcare system that was recently ranked among the best in the world.

Coverage for telehealth services

To ensure you continue to stay as healthy as possible while social distancing, nib will cover appropriate treatment using telehealth for eligible international members. This is a temporary measure that will be in place until 30 September 2020.

This means that you’ll still be able to use your cover to claim on telehealth appointments (like video calls or Skype appointments) for services including your GP appointments. A service will only be provided by telehealth where it is safe and clinically appropriate, so not all providers will be able to make it available. Please check with your provider if this is something they’re able to do or check out nib's First Choice Network to search for GPs that provide telehealth consultations.

For more tips on how to access telehealth services, check out our telehealth FAQs.

International student studying in Australia, and learning what nib can provide for her during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mental health support

It’s ok to seek help and ask for support when you’re anxious or feeling stressed, especially during these challenging times. Here are some helpful services available in a range of languages - some are even tailored specifically to support international students.

Lifeline
nib foundation is proud to support Lifeline. For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services, Lifeline is available to help.

A free interpreting service is also available, to access this service:

  1. Call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450 and ask to talk to Lifeline on 13 11 14 in the language required.
  2. TIS will call Lifeline on behalf of the caller.

Headspace

Beyond Blue

Unlimited emergency ambulance cover

nib offers unlimited emergency ambulance cover with all Overseas Student and International Worker Health Cover which means you’ll get the emergency help you need, when and as often as you need it without having to worry about an expensive bill.

Grocery discounts and more

As an nib member, you’ll get access to a range of offers and discounts through nib Rewards. This exclusive program can save you money on some of Australia’s biggest brands including MYER, JB Hi-Fi and Woolworths. From first-aid kit essentials like thermometers and Band-Aids to vitamins and groceries, nib Rewards is our way of helping you save on things that are important to your health**. Find out how you can save today.

Phone and online chat support for members

We understand that living overseas during a time like this can feel daunting, so our support team are available to answer questions about your cover between 8:30am and 6pm (AEST), Monday to Friday over the phone or through our online chat Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm (AEST). We also have a range of health cover specialists who can offer language support, including Chinese. For more information on getting in touch, visit our Contact Us page.

International students at the University of Newcastle receiving health and hygiene packages from nib health insurance. Pictured: Students Shah Mahdi Hasan, Angela Mesa and Tianhe (Will) Li

Complimentary health and hygiene packages

We’ve partnered with the University of Newcastle to put together 700 health and hygiene packs for the University’s international students in need to further support them throughout this tough time.

Each pack is valued at more than $60 and includes a range of healthy living essentials like hand sanitiser, toothpaste, toothbrushes, tampons, razors, and mulitvitamins. To find out more, contact the University of Newcastle.

Providing 54,000 meals for international students

OzHarvest has identified a gap in food relief support for international students struggling to make ends meet. To help show our support, we’ve donated over $52,000 to fund 1,500 food relief hampers for international students in need across Sydney.

As numbers are limited, it’s essential for students to register in order to access a free food relief hamper.

Please contact your education provider for a registration link and unique code. For more information visit OzHarvest.

To further help you and your family during the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve released a range of health tips, medical information, at-home workouts and quarantine grocery guides as part of our COVID-19 series on The Check Up.

*Subject to the terms and conditions of your policy. Exclusions apply. To find out more, visit our FAQs page.

**Some offers may be varied or available for a limited time.

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