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International student's guide to New Zealand's healthcare system

Learn about the healthcare system in New Zealand and the medical insurance options available to you as an international student.

In this article:

Why do you need health insurance while studying in New Zealand?

All international students must have a private health insurance plan or a travel insurance plan covering them for their study duration. 

New Zealand does have a public health care system that provides subsidised health care services, but international students are not eligible to acquire this service. However, you can benefit from ACC, a service covering medical costs arising from accidents. 

What is ACC?

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) is an organisation that covers the damages, treatment and rehabilitation costs for natives, international students, and visitors in New Zealand.

What does ACC cover?

Irrespective of whether you were at fault during the accident, you can avail ACC's for the following injures:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Open wounds like cuts
  • Burns
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Dental injuries
  • Loss of hearing
  • Concussions and loss of consciousness

You can also acquire free psychological treatment for issues that were caused as a direct result of the accident, like post-traumatic stress disorders.

Note: Apart from accidents, ACC also covers treatment for injuries due to physical attacks and sexual assaults.

How to apply for private medication insurance as an international student in New Zealand

Most universities will offer insurance plans through private insurance providers they prefer. You just need to pay the insurance premium along with your tuition fee at the beginning of the semester. 

You can also opt for another health insurance policy by going through top insurance providers' policies, choosing one and applying online. 

Some of the top private health insurance providers in New Zealand are:

  • Southern cross health society
  • NIB health cover
  • Allianzcare