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Supporting international students and workers through COVID-19

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We’re committed to providing extra support

A smiling woman with headphones around her neck rests her head on her hand as she sits at a table with her laptop

Over the last year, 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.

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

Most of nib’s international student and workers products include coverage for treatment related to COVID-191. 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 top 10 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 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.

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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.


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. 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. 2

    TIS will call Lifeline on behalf of the caller.


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 health insurance member, you’ll get access to a range of offers and discounts through nib Rewards2. 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 health3. 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.

1Subject to the terms and conditions of your policy and guidelines from the Department of Health. Exclusions apply. To find out more, visit our FAQs page.
2 nib Rewards are not available to new health insurance members until the 30-day cooling off period has passed, and provided premium payments are up to date.
3Terms and conditions apply. Some offers may be varied or available for a limited time. Payments made by debit/credit card incur a 1% fee for some offers.

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