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Healthcare and Insurance

Medicine medical equipment

Applying for insurance cover is easy, once you have accepted your offer of place during your course enrolment process on eVision you just select one of the policy options

Eligibility for Health Services

International students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand.

Full details on entitlements to publicly funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health.

Student Health Services

Student Health Services is a team of health professionals on campus including doctors, nurses and counsellors committed to your overall well-being during your life as a student. For more information about the full range of services and costs please refer to the Student Health Services website.

If you purchase Studentsafe-University Insurance and make an appointment with a Doctor, Nurse, Counsellor or Psychiatrist at Student Health and your condition is covered under the policy, you will not have to pay for the consultation as Student Health Services will bill the insurer directly on your behalf. This process is called ‘Direct Billing’.

Please ensure you have read and understand what conditions may or may not be covered by your Studentsafe insurance policy.

Examples of conditions/appointments that are NOT covered by your insurance policy:

  1. Pre-existing conditions: any condition that you have when you arrive in New Zealand, an example of this would be asthma. Unless:
    (a) the condition had been declared and accepted by Allianz in writing as an insured Pre-existing Medical Condition(s); or
    (b) the condition was first diagnosed and coverage was provided under your continuous Studentsafe-policy.
  2. Contraception appointments and prescriptions
  3. Health Screening appointments and laboratory / prescription costs - an example of this would be screening for sexually transmitted infections
  4. Vaccinations appointments and prescriptions

Please see your insurance policy for other conditions / appointments that may not be covered:

If you wish to obtain insurance cover for a pre-existing condition you will need to discuss options with the insurance company. You will need to complete the Medical Risk Assessment Form. Please contact the Insurance Administrator for assistance with submitting the form to the insurance company.
If you need to see a Doctor, Nurse, Counsellor or Psychiatrist for a condition that is not covered by your insurance policy, you will need to pay the Student Health Services for your appointment and any associated pharmacy / laboratory costs.

Medical prescriptions

If you visit Student Health Services and obtain a script from Student Health, you can take it to any pharmacy in town.

The following pharmacies in Dunedin offer Direct Billing agreement with the insurer:

  1. Knox Pharmacy, on the corner of George and Frederick Street
  2. Urgent Pharmacy, 95 Hanover Street
  3. Dunedin North Pharmacy, 15 St David Street
  4. Albany Street Pharmacy, 27 Albany Street

In order to take advantage of direct billing, the doctor at Student Health must write on the prescription that the student is covered by Studentsafe-University. Otherwise the student will be required to pay upfront and then claim back the cost of the medication.

If you take the script to any other pharmacy apart from those pharmacies offering Direct Billing, you will be required to pay for the medication and submit a claim form. Those pharmacies offering Direct Billing will only accept scripts from Student Health. If you have a script from any practice outside of Student Health, you will be required to pay and submit a claim.

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Medical and Travel Insurance

The New Zealand Government requires that all international students have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand. This includes students on a Work Visa with a Variation of Condition to study part time. Evidence of suitable medical and travel insurance must be presented as a condition of enrolment at the University.

Holding compliant insurance that is acceptable to your education provider (the University of Otago) is a condition of your student visa application (INZ 1012) and of your enrolment at this institution. The application form and guide may be downloaded from Immigration New Zealand website. 

Requirements for 2015 Enrolled Students

Information for students returning in 2015

The University of Otago's preferred insurance provider is Studentsafe-University, a policy underwritten by Allianz. International students will not be able to complete enrolment in eVision for 2015 until they have selected their insurance option. It is important that you take out the option that covers the entire course of your study in 2015. For example, students who are registered for semester one and semester two at the University of Otago must choose the Full Year insurance option.
Studentsafe-University policies are available for:

  • Summer School only
  • Single Semester only
  • Summer School and Semester One
  • Summer School and Full Year
  • Full Year

Cover will begin automatically when the student leaves their home to travel to Otago, as long as this occurs no earlier than 31 days prior to the commencement date of the course of study (for 2015 Summer School commences 5 January; Semester One commences 23 February; Semester Two commences 6 July). The premium (insurance payment) should be paid prior to departure along with tuition fees and Student Services Fee. Cover for returning Otago students who have completed the insurance option online and choose to remain in New Zealand over the summer break will be continuous with the new policy becoming effective on 14 February 2015.

Medical and Travel Insurance Requirements

The New Zealand Government requires that international students have compliant and current medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand. Evidence of suitable medical and travel insurance must be presented as a condition of enrolment at the University.

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Studentsafe-University is the University of Otago's preferred insurance provider. The University has negotiated a highly competitive premium which is outlined below. If you elect to purchase the Studentsafe package, you will be able to arrange the insurance directly with the University and pay the insurance premium with your tuition fees and Student Services Fee.

The Studentsafe University medical and insurance package is specially designed to meet the needs of international students in New Zealand and fully complies with the New Zealand Code of Practice insurance guidelines listed below.

Full schedule of benefits and the policy wording 2015

The 2015 Insurance Coverage Dates

Summer School: from 4 January to 5 March 2015
Full year: from 14 February 2015 to 13 February 2016
Semester One: from 14 February 2015 to 13 August 2015
Semester Two: from 3 July 2015 to 2 January 2016

Semester One or Semester Two insurance coverage is usually available only for Study Abroad and Exchange students.

Please note that the insurance coverage is continuous over the summer holidays for returning students.
It is important to note that there are important coverage limitations when traveling outside of New Zealand, please refer to the policy for more information.

Further information regarding the insurance coverage dates and travel cover during the holidays could be found here.

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The 2015 Studentsafe Insurance Rates

Individual options:

Summer School only: $99.00
One Semester: $295.00
One Semester plus Summer School: $344.00
One Year: $589.00
One Year plus Summer School: $639.00

Couple options:
Summer School only: $197.00
One Semester: $589.00
One Semester plus Summer School: $688.00
One Year: $1,178.00
One Year plus Summer School: $1,277.00

Family Options:
Summer School only: $246.00
One Semester: $736.00
One Semester plus Summer School: $859.00
One Year: $1,472.00
One Year plus Summer School: $1,595.00

All premiums quoted above are in New Zealand dollars.

If you wish to purchase the couple or family option, please contact the insurance administrator at and request a family member policy application form (if not previously completed or if no new dependants to be added).

Important notice to persons 60 years of age and over 
Students or family members aged 60 or over are required to provide medical evidence to Allianz, before cover can be accepted. If you or a family member are 60 years of age or over you must complete the Medical Risk Assessment Form and fax it directly to Allianz.

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Maternity (Pregnancy)

Costs associated with pregnancy, childbirth, fertility treatment, abortion and birth control are not covered under Studentsafe-University insurance.
Students will be required to cover the full cost of maternity (pregnancy) care. For information on the fees payable, contact the Ministry of Health.

Making Claims in New Zealand

Claim forms can be downloaded from

Any insurance claim lodged with Allianz may not be processed unless the tuition fee account has a zero balance.

Forward the completed claim form, plus the original copy of all receipts and supporting documentation to:

PO Box 33313
Auckland 0740

Students are advised to make a copy of the completed claim form and original receipts for their records.

Personal Effects / Personal Items

Personal effects are defined as items normally worn or carried about the person, or luggage, portable sporting equipment, portable musical instruments, portable cameras, radios, iPods, video cameras etc, private bicycles.

Contents Cover

The Studentsafe policy does NOT provide cover for household furniture, furnishings or household appliances - if you require this additional cover, please contact the Student Help Desk on 0800 486 004 or by email:

Property Worth More than $2,500

An application form to specify cover for valuable items of property is available from the Student Assist website. The maximum insurable value for any specified item, set or pair of items is $5,000. In the event of a claim you must be able to support your claim with receipts or valuations.

Providing Proof of Ownership

For lost, stolen or damaged items, you must provide receipts. If these are not available, Allianz will consider at their discretion, other forms of proof of ownership. For stolen or lost cash, proof of ownership such as bank statements or currency exchange receipts is required.
Please refer to the policy wording and schedule of benefits for full details of the benefits, claim limits or other conditions that may apply.  If you need to make a claim, download the form  and complete it in full. Send the form together with your receipts and any supporting information to:

PO Box 33313
Auckland 0740.

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Overseas Based Study

Includes Thesis Only students (either Masters or PhD), international students doing medical electives or international students going on an exchange programme.

If you have to study overseas as part of your degree (that is, a PhD student doing research or attending conferences overseas,  international students doing Medical Electives, or international students going on an exchange programme) your Studentsafe-University will not provide you with sufficient cover. However, there is an insurance package, Studentsafe-University Offshore, which is designed specifically for students who are required to study offshore for part of their degree.

If you choose to cancel your insurance cover (for example, undertaking overseas based research and choosing insurance from another provider) and you then resume your Studentsafe-University coverage once you return to the University of Otago, it will be considered a new policy. This means that any condition for which you have received treatment for previously, will be considered a pre-existing condition and will no longer be covered.

Important Note

It is important to note that the Studentsafe-University policy does not provide insurance cover for a motor vehicle.

Disclaimer information

The University of Otago strongly recommends students read the insurance policy wording which may be found at carefully taking particular note of exclusions. It is the student's responsibility to become familiar with the level of cover and the refund conditions offered by the insurance.

The University of Otago takes no responsibility for misunderstandings over insurance content and conditions or for medical and travel costs not covered by insurance or for the activities of the insurance companies involved.

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Other Policies

Other insurance policies may be accepted. However, in each case, the policy must fully comply with the insurance content requirements. You are advised not to purchase an alternative policy until the University has notified you that it is code compliant. The following New Zealand policies are currently regarded as Code compliant:

  • Uni-Care NZ Student Plan
  • Southern Cross Student Max
  • Orbit Protect Prime
  • StudentCare PLUS

If you are planning on purchasing another policy, in New Zealand or elsewhere, you will need to submit an English version of the complete policy (not just the insurance certificate) to the International Division a minimum of six weeks prior to the start of your course. The International Division will arrange for your policy to be assessed for compliance. You should not purchase an alternative insurance product until the University has confirmed that this policy is acceptable.

Any alternative insurance policy submitted less than six weeks prior to the start of your course will not be accepted for evaluation, and you will automatically be enrolled in the Studentsafe-University scheme. The University accepts no responsibility for the purchase of insurance products which do not comply with the insurance content requirements listed below.

Alternative policies received after this date will not be accepted and the student will be coded Studentsafe-University by default.

If your policy is found to comply with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students, you will be required to present either the original of your Insurance Certificate or a certified copy to the insurance administrator by:

  • Students commencing in Summer School - 15 December 2014
  • Students commencing in Semester One - 30 January 2015
  • Students commencing in Semester Two - 20 June 2015

Certificates of Insurance received after this date will not be accepted and the student will be coded Studentsafe-University by default.

Important: Returning students who wish to submit an alternative policy should contact the insurance administrator for the last date of receipt of alternative policies.

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Insurance Component Requirements of Alternative Policies

It is important that any alternative policy purchased contain the following components:

Insurance commences on the day the student leaves home and begins their travel to New Zealand;

Insurance applies whilst the student is in transit to and from New Zealand;

The insurance applies whilst the student is in New Zealand;

The insurance covers the student for trips to their home country and other countries during the period of study in New Zealand (e.g. for an extension or holiday to Australia or to other South Pacific countries);

The insurer is a reputable and established company with substantial experiences in the travel insurance business. The credit rating should be no lower than:

  • A from Standard and Poors
  • B+ from A M Best
  • Companies without a credit rating will not be approved.

If the parent company of a policy issuer has a credit rating, then unless a financial guarantee is given to the subsidiary issuing the insurance, the subsidiary’s policy will not be approved.

The insurer is able to provide 24 hour, 7 day a week coverage;

The “sums insured” must be high to cover most situations:

A minimum of NZ$1,000.000.00;

No dollar sub limits or durational limits for care;

Medical benefits must be included, but are not limited to:

  • General practitioner visits;
  • Prescriptions;
  • Hospitalisation;
  • Optical cover;
  • Emergency dental cover;

There should be no excess applied to medical claims and the insurance should cover 100% of costs.

Emergency evacuation and repatriation from New Zealand or other places. The insurance must adequately cover the cost of repatriation in the event of serious illness or injury.

The evacuation benefit must work two ways:

  • If the student becomes seriously ill or injured and needs to be accompanied home (either alive or deceased) with medical professionals, these costs are met by the insurance;
  • If members of the student’s immediate family living overseas become critically ill or die, the policy will fly the student home and then back to New Zealand to complete their studies. Adequate policy limits are required.

Accompanying relative cover should also be available in the event the student becomes seriously ill or dies, the policy should pay for the parents to travel to New Zealand and return as well as accommodation.

Search and rescue operation to locate student if missing.

Travel insurance policy components:

  • Loss of baggage and other personal effects;
  • Accident and injury cover;
  • Disruption to travel plans;
  • Cost of medical care in stopover countries;

Personal effects including items like musical instruments, lap top computers and sporting equipment, money and travel documents.

The insurance provides personal liability cover in the case of accidental damage to the property of third parties.

False arrest and wrongful detention of student

It is also highly desirable (but not mandatory) that the insurance cover:
(a) Mental illness;
(b) Fees lost to unforeseen circumstances and not recoverable from any other source.

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Important Notes

  • Please ensure that the full policy wording in English for your intended policy is forwarded. Often qualifying terms and conditions are recorded in the body of the policy wording, but not recorded in advertising brochures, or in a policy schedule.
  • If you send a policy wording that is not in English, the policy cannot be evaluated and will automatically be rejected.
  • All foreign policies are adjudicated for us by an expert third party and their decision is final.
  • If you plan to have two policies, one for travel and one for medical, send both.
  • As insurers frequently change the terms of their policies, we may ask for further evidence when you renew cover.

If the policy is judged:

  1. Not to be compliant you will be required to take out the Studentsafe insurance product or one of the compliant New Zealand based policies;
  2. To be compliant you will be required to present the original of your insurance policy certificate (or a certified copy) prior to the date specified above. The certificate must show your name, the type of policy, policy number and length of cover. If not in English, the insurance certificate must be translated into English and be certified as a true translation of the original.

Any alternative insurance policy submitted less than six weeks prior to the start of your course will not normally be accepted for evaluation, and you will automatically be enrolled in the Studentsafe-University scheme. The University accepts no responsibility for student purchase of insurance products which do not comply with the insurance content requirements listed below.

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Dental Care

You will need to consult a private practitioner for any dental problems. Most student insurance policies in New Zealand will not cover dental care. There are a number of private dental practices close to campus. Students can also access trainee dentists at the School of Dentistry.

Accident Insurance

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides accident insurance for all New Zealand citizens, residents and temporary visitors to New Zealand, but you may still be liable for all other medical and related costs. Further information can be viewed on the ACC website.

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Further Information

For more information on this or any other insurance matter please contact the insurance administrator, who is available Monday and Friday between 9.00am and 12.30pm, on Wednesday between 9.30am and 12.30pm, and on Tuesday and Thursday between 1.00pm and 4.00pm.

International Division
University of Otago
Archway West Building
90 Union Place East
Dunedin 9016
Tel: 64 3 4798582
Fax: 64 3 479 8367