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What is Bupa?

Bupa was founded in April 1947 with the objective of providing health funding to the UK's general public. Originally named the 'British United Provident Association,' today it is a private company limited by guarantee without shareholders. The profit it earns is reinvested in the company itself to provide support to employees.

Along with being an international health insurance provider and one of the leading healthcare specialists in the UK, Bupa currently provides services to more than 31 million global customers through 85,000 employees. It is headquartered in London.

The following in-depth Bupa health insurance review will help you decide whether it is a good option for you or not.

How Does Bupa Compare?

Here are some key facts about Bupa health insurance to consider:

  • NHS waiting Time: Through Bupa, you will not be provided with the six-week NHS wait option (as given by other providers). If the NHS wait time is more than six weeks, this will help you save money by only paying for private inpatient care.
  • Hospital Network: Bupa provides access to a large network of hospitals and clinics through its health insurance policy. These include three tiers, namely, Essential Access, Extended Choice, and Extended Choice with Central London.
  • No Claims Discount: This includes 14 levels, with the highest providing a 70% discount.
  • Self-Funding: Bupa is a well-known and stable company in the UK's private healthcare industry. You can opt for their collection of services and facilities through self-funding instead of health insurance.
  • NHS Cancer Cover Plus: Through this, you can keep your rates low while still having access to breakthrough cancer treatments that the NHS does not provide.

Is Bupa a Good Insurance Company?

Up until the date of this review, Bupa has collected over 11,300 reviews on Trustpilot. It has received 4.4 stars out of 5 and has been rated as 'Excellent.' A few customers have had an unsatisfactory experience. However, 82% have voted the company as 'Excellent' and 'Great,' indicating the high-quality services Bupa provides.

Most customers who have given 5-star ratings mention the reasons as being ease of use, friendliness, efficiency, and the speed claims are dealt with.

How Much Does Bupa Health Insurance Cost?

The customer's lifestyle variables determine the price of Bupa health insurance. This would include age, claim history, health status, and history of illnesses. Another influencer is whether the customer smokes or not.

It is well known that health insurance is costlier for the older generation. The cost of health insurance is dependent on the cover itself, along with the excess levels set by the customer's side.

The following table contains all prices of the two types of insurance covers for a non-smoking male living in Dorset:

Insurance Cover Insurance Cost/ per month
Comprehensive £28.17
Treatment and Care £36.76

What Does Bupa Health Insurance Cover?

This health insurance cover is called Bupa By You. It is a 12-month private policy designed for anyone wanting to cover the cost of healthcare in the UK.

The Bupa By You package is further expanded into covers:

  1. Comprehensive Cover
  2. Treatment and Care Cover
Diagnosis Variables Comprehensive Treatment and Care
Consultations as an outpatient before treatment Yes No
Diagnostic test as an outpatient before treatment Yes No
CT, PET, and MRI scans before treatment Yes Yes
During Treatment Variables Comprehensive Treatment and Care
Hospital Treatment Yes Yes
Cover for Mental Well-Being Yes Yes
Therapies for Outpatients Yes Yes
Diagnostic testing after treatment Yes Yes
Outpatient consultations after treatment Yes Yes
Scans After Therapy Yes Yes
Digital GP Yes Yes
Cancer Cover Variables Comprehensive Treatment and Care
No Cancer Cover, Full Cover, or NHS Cancer Cover Plus Yes Yes
Extra Variables Comprehensive Treatment and care
Bupa Anytime HealthLine Yes Yes
Parent Stay Yes Yes
Private Road Ambulance Yes Yes
Cash benefit for treatment under the NHS Yes Yes
Cancer cash benefit for treatment under the NHS Yes Yes
Bupa- Recognised Hospital Accessibility Variables Comprehensive Treatment and Care
Essential Access Network, Extended Choice Network, and Extended choice with Central London Network Yes Yes

What Does the Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan Cover?

Bupa’s comprehensive plan is its top-most rank, which in short provides private treatment along with diagnosis in the following areas:

  1. Outpatient consultations: The plan will pay for consultation charges for outpatient diagnosis.
  2. Diagnostic Tests: This will include the required tests as requested by the consultant or GP and cover complex diagnostic activities such as endoscopy.
  3. Outpatient Therapy: Therapies (like physiotherapy) are covered.
  4. Scans: Scans such as PET, CT, and MRI are covered as required for treatment and as requested by the consultant.
  5. Parent Stay: This will include payment for accommodation for a child’s parent, requiring the child be 16 years of age or younger, has a health insurance policy, has undertaken the required diagnostic tests, is to undergo a surgical procedure and is being treated as a patient.
  6. Treatment in Hospital: The payment will be made if you are an outpatient or in the hospital.
  7. Mental Well-Being: A consultant or mental health therapist would provide treatment under this option.
  8. Cash Benefit Under NHS Treatment: This will include a cash benefit for treatment if given free under the NHS.
  9. Cancer Cash Benefit Under NHS Treatment: This will cover payment of a cash benefit for cancer treatment under the NHS – provided free by the latter.
  10. Extra Benefits: These include eligible treatment at homes such as chemotherapy, nursing care at home, and a private road ambulance.

The excess options available are £0, £100, £150, £200, £250 or £500.

The following table depicts the options available to 30-year-old, non-smoking individuals in the UK. Within the comprehensive health insurance plan, an excess of £500 is applied.

Outpatient Limitation Cancer Cover Hospital Access Network Premium
£500 NHS plus Essential Access £33.16
£1000 NHS plus Essential Access £38.32
£500 NHS plus Extended £37.36
£1000 NHS plus Extended £43.16
£500 NHS plus Extended choice £42.38
£1000 NHS plus Extended choice £48.98
£500 Full Essential Access £33.59
£1000 Full Essential Access £38.74
£500 Full Extended £37.83
£1000 Full Extended £43.65
£500 Full Extended choice £42.93
£1000 Full Extended choice £49.52

What Does the Treatment and Care Health Insurance Plan Cover?

Bupa's treatment and Care health insurance plan is for those who have received their diagnosis via the NHS and want to continue with their treatment as a private patient. This plan covers treatment by a consultant and post-treatment care. The payment for diagnosis is excluded. The following options are included in the subject plan:

  1. Outpatient Consultations: This includes payment for consultations in the timeframe of 6 months once the hospital has approved discharge.
  2. Post-treatment diagnostic testing: This includes tests that the consultant requests after treatment.
  3. Scans: PET, MRI, and CT scans are paid for if requested by the consultant for treatment
  4. Outpatient Therapies:
  5. Parent Stay:
  6. Treatment in Hospital:
  7. Mental Well-Being:
  8. Cash Benefit under NHS Treatment:
  9. Cancer Cash Benefit under NHS Treatment:
  10. Extra Benefits: Certain additional benefits are also provided, such as home treatment for chemotherapy, etc., home nursing care, and travel with a private ambulance.

£0, £100, £150, £200, £250 or £500 are the excess options available in the Treatment and Care health insurance cover. The following table depicts the cover options available to a 30-year-old non-smoking individual residing in the UK. With the Treatment and Care plan, an excess of £500 is applied.

Cancer Cover Hospital Access Network Premium
NHS plus Essential Access £25.32
NHS plus Extended £28.54
NHS plus Extended choice £32.37
Full Essential Access £25.72
Full Extended £28.97
Full Extended choice £32.87

What Does Outpatient Care Cover Include?

With outpatient cover, the treatment or appointment at a hospital does not require an overnight stay or a bed for the patient. These appointments may include short-term consultations, diagnostic testing, therapies, physiotherapy etc. After the yearly outpatient limitation has been crossed, you would be required to fund the tests or consultations personally.

For the Comprehensive plan, outpatient consultations and therapies include limitations of £500, £750, £1000, or unlimited.

For the Treatment and Care Plan, the outpatient consultations and therapies are paid in full.

What Does Cancer Cover Include?

In the cancer cover by Bupa, all cancer treatments are included, starting from the diagnosis of the disease to treatment ranging from surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and transplants, including stem cells and bone marrow.

When you buy a Bupa By You Health Insurance policy, you may select between the following cancer cover options:

  1. Full Cancer Cover: All qualifying inpatient and outpatient cancer therapy is covered.
  2. NHS Cancer Cover Plus: This only includes cancer treatment if you don't have access to the NHS for chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.
  3. No Cancer Cover: This does not cover the cost of cancer therapy. If you have cancer, you'll have to rely on the NHS.

If you add cancer care to your insurance, Bupa does not place any financial or time limitations on treatment. In addition to cancer treatment, Bupa's cancer care includes:

  1. Counselling can help you cope with your diagnosis and treatment by providing psychological support.
  2. When clinically acceptable, the option of receiving chemotherapy at home rather than in a hospital environment.
  3. If your cancer is incurable, you may benefit from palliative care.

What Are the Hospital Networks Available with Bupa?

There are three hospital access networks:

  1. Essential Access
  2. Extended Choice
  3. Extended choice with Central London

Because every hospital in the network is Bupa-approved, you can be assured that any qualifying treatment you get will be completely covered when you visit one of their hospitals.

It's crucial to pick your network wisely because if you travel to a Bupa-approved hospital outside of the selected network, you'll be responsible for a portion of the treatment expenses.

If you seek treatment at a hospital within your preferred network, the hospital costs will be paid in full as long as you are seen by a Bupa-approved consultant whose fee the policy agrees to pay in full.

Are There Any Extra Benefits Offered by Bupa?

Bupa offers certain additional benefits. They are as follows:

  1. Home Treatment: This includes treatment for chemotherapy or other conditions where the doctor will treat the patient at home.
  2. Nursing Care at Home: After inpatient treatment, the home nurse care charges will be converted by Bupa.
  3. Private Road Ambulance: This includes travelling by a private ambulance medically required or in case of inpatient or day-patient treatment. £60 is paid for every journey.

Does Bupa Have Any Exclusions?

Yes, Bupa has listed various exceptions in its healthcare insurance policy. These include pre-existing medical conditions, natural ageing, menopause, pregnancy, childbirth, allergies, dialysis, audio and visual issues, dental issues, accidents, rehabilitation, chronic conditions, and more.

Should I Contribute to the Cost of My Treatment?

With Bupa, you can add an excess to your health insurance policy. This equals the total amount of money paid in advance for private medical treatment. This can also help reduce the cost of your monthly premium.

Excesses offered by Bupa are:

  • £0
  • £100
  • £150
  • £200
  • £250
  • £500

What Is Not Covered by Bupa Health Insurance?

Certain variables are excluded from the Bupa health insurance cover. The following list of exemptions are made in the Comprehensive cover and Treatment and Care cover of Bupa By You:

  1. Menopause, puberty, and natural ageing.
  2. HIV/ AIDS.
  3. Birth control, sex changes, sexual problems, and conception.
  4. Allergic disorders and allergies.
  5. Long-term conditions.
  6. Psychiatric treatment or long-term mental health disorders.
  7. Dialysis.
  8. Hearing disabilities.
  9. Cosmetic, weight loss, and reconstruction.
  10. Dental insurance for oral issues and treatment.
  11. Riots, war, and contaminations.
  12. Rehabilitation, healing, and standard nursing.
  13. Eyesight treatment.
  14. Epidemic or pandemic conditions.
  15. Drugs, experimental drugs, or treatments.
  16. Dressings for outpatient usage.
  17. Intensive care except for particular situations.
  18. Behavioural issues, learning disabilities, and developmental issues.
  19. Treatment in another country and repatriation.
  20. Pre-existing conditions or special conditions.
  21. Aids and devices for physical assistance.
  22. Childbirth and pregnancy.
  23. Testing, assessment, and early intervention.
  24. Insomnia and other sleeping issues.
  25. Speaking disabilities.
  26. Consultations via phone or online portals, except for particular situations.
  27. Short-term relief of issues.
  28. Services or facilities that aren't well-known.

Will the Private Health Insurance Cover a Pre-Existing Condition I Have?

As mentioned in point 20 above, any pre-existing conditions are excluded from the Bupa health insurance cover. You will be required to fill a health declaration form stating your medical history.

Pre-existing conditions are not included because the policy pays for health conditions that arise after the cover has begun.

When Does Bupa’s Health Insurance Reset

Bupa health insurance has a calendar year reset, which means your health fund will reset on the 1st of January every year.

Can I Switch My Existing Health Insurance Cover to Bupa?

Yes, you can switch to Bupa’s health insurance cover from another health insurance provider. But any pre-existing conditions may be excluded.

To switch, first, select the health insurance cover you want and then connect with Bupa’s customer service online or through a call. They will handle the switching process from this point onwards.

How Can You Lower the Cost of Bupa Health Insurance?

There are many changes you may make to the Bupa policy to lower the insurance quote and receive lower health insurance rates, such as opting for excess, family health insurance plan, etc.

The most significant change to make is to choose ‘basic' health insurance from the start. This will only cover inpatient treatment, not any outpatient therapy, such as diagnostic testing, that may be required before your admission to the hospital.

The exact method will be determined by the degree of coverage and type of treatment necessary. Still, the amount of outpatient coverage you choose to include in the health insurance policy will greatly influence the price.

Opting for a Bupa health insurance plan without outpatient cover variables saves money. However, this would lead to being on the NHS waiting list for diagnosis and consultations.

The Bupa health insurance certificate you receive will also state the no claims discount applicable to your cover. A maximum of 70% discount can be received if you are on Discount level 14.

How to Cancel Bupa Health Insurance in the UK?

Members of Bupa can discontinue their membership by filling out an online cancellation form. If you're transferring health plans, they'll also send your clearance certificate to your new provider. You may also cancel your Bupa membership over the phone. Below are the steps you should follow:

  1. Contact Bupa's UK customer support at 03456090111, according to the provided timings on the official website.
  2. Give the representative your policy number and personal information.
  3. Request that your health insurance is cancelled.
  4. Ask for confirmation through email.

Or you can just cancel the Direct debit and that will lapse the policy.

You should write to them for cancellation within 21 days of receiving the annual policy year documents. If no claims are made within this timeframe, Bupa will refund all the subscriptions.

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