Bupa health insurance spotlight

November 22, 2019
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Bupa is the largest UK health insurance provider that we work with. They have been providing health insurance policies since 1947, operating within 49 health clinics and the Bupa Cromwell Hospital. They offer market-leading cancer care, an extensive hospital list, discounts for some medical professionals and they aren’t owned by shareholders. This is what you should know about Bupa if you’re considering purchasing a health insurance policy with them.

Please note: the information presented in this blog is correct as of 31st October 2019 and has been sourced directly from https://www.bupa.co.uk/.

What services does Bupa offer?

Bupa provides more than just health insurance policies. They offer a range of diagnostic, treatment and advice services to their members. Below are some of the key components that make up Bupa.

  1. Health insurance.
  2. Access to their privately run hospital, Bupa Cromwell hospital, which is situated in London.
  3. Bupa health centres that offer the following: health assessments, private GP services, physiotherapy and dermatology treatments.
  4. Bupa care homes for the elderly.
  5. Travel insurance.
  6. Premium global health insurance for international use.
  7. Health cash plans.
  8. Dental insurance. 
  9. Pay as you go treatments.
  10. Private health assessments.

Effectively, Bupa can accommodate someone looking for private healthcare treatment, either through insurance or other payment options such as the pay as you go treatments. For help understanding whether you’d benefit more from a health insurance policy or an alternative way to access private treatment, we recommend you read our blog what is private healthcare in the UK.

All health insurance providers offer unique benefits to their policyholders. Understanding the benefits of any potential provider may help you to decide on who you purchase your policy with.

Bupa health insurance benefits

  1. Bupa health insurance covers the treatment for more mental health conditions than any other UK policy provider.
  2. You have access to a medical professional 24/7 if you have any concerns or need health advice.
  3. Access to breakthrough cancer drugs and treatments that may otherwise be unavailable through the NHS.
  4. Members benefits, such as discounts to popular restaurants and shops, 2-4-1 tickets to attractions and prize draws.
  5. They work with independent brokers and allow their policies to be purchased through them.

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What policies does Bupa offer?

Some health insurance providers will offer discounts and services to policyholders depending on which type of health insurance policy they purchase. Bupa offers the following types of policies:

  • Individual - personal policies for a single policyholder.
  • Couples - policies for two people, offered with a 5% discount in comparison to if you were to purchase two separate policies.
  • Family health insurance - cover for adults and children. Bupa offers a 10% saving on family cover in comparison to individual policies.
  • Health insurance for business - both small and corporate, Bupa can help you to create a company-wide insurance policy that suits the demands of your business.
  • Self-employed health insurance - offer services that cover both physical and mental health.
  • Continuation of work policy - if you leave a job that covered you for health insurance, you may have the option of continuing on the same policy as an individual.

Bupa also offers health insurance policies that are only available through 3rd party brokers. You can benefit from purchasing through a broker as they’ll be able to compare your options and advise you on policies from multiple providers. Below are the two core policies we offer on behalf of Bupa:


Bupa By You

Bupa By You is a health insurance policy that is only available through intermediaries, such as ourselves. Bupa By You can be customised and adapted to your personal needs through the inclusion of extras, the choice of hospital list and the level of care available to you. Here’s a rundown of Bupa by you:

  1. Specialist support teams that are on-hand to guide you through any illnesses and treatments you receive.
  2. 24/7 anytime healthline available for you to speak directly to a qualified nurse or doctor if you have any health concerns.
  3. Cancer promise, meaning that Bupa will pay for any eligible cancer costs in full, subject to T&C.
  4. Mental health support and availability to speak to a trained adviser and in some cases, a councillor.
  5. A choice of three hospital lists: 
    a. Essentials, which gives you access to a select number of private facilities excluding London facilities.
    b. Extended choice, giving you access to a larger number of private facilities and a selection of London hospitals.
    c. Extended choice with Central London, the most comprehensive hospital list which includes many of the major London hospitals.
  6. The ability to include extras on your policy such as complementary therapies, cancer assist, dental cover, health expenses and travel cover.

You’ll also have the option between 2 different health insurance levels depending on the coverage you need.

Bupa By You Comprehensive - you’ll be covered for all eligible hospital treatments including out-patient CT, MRI and PET scans as well as full mental health coverage for up to 28 days per policy year. Members have the choice between full out-patient care which covers them for all eligible out-patient consultations, diagnostic tests and physiotherapy treatment. Alternatively, you can opt for the limited out-patient policy that has a £500/£750/£1000 spending limit for outpatient consultations and diagnostic tests.

Bupa By You Treatment & Care - covers all eligible treatment received in hospital following a confirmed diagnosis. Post-treatment consultations, diagnostic tests and scans are paid in full within 6 months of receiving eligible treatment. You have the option to increase your premium so that all eligible diagnostic tests, scans and procedures are paid in full.

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Bupa Fundamentals

Bupa Fundamentals may be a cost-effective option for anyone looking for health insurance. It can only be purchased through a broker, and it can be an excellent option for someone who wants access to private treatment but is happy to use the NHS or pay up-front for initial consultations. 

  1. You’re covered for eligible treatments when you fall medically ill or injure yourself.
  2. You won’t be covered for consultations with specialists, but you can use the NHS or pay to see a private specialist.
  3. Access to Bupa extras such as a 24/7 helpline, access to medical support teams and full eligible cancer treatment.
  4. The choice of 3 hospital lists:
    a. Essential access - you can access a limited number of private facilities throughout the UK, excluding London.
    b. Extended choice - you can receive treatment at a wider range of private facilities in comparison to essential access, with the addition of select London facilities.
    c. Extended choice with Central London - this option gives you access to most major hospitals in London, as well as those included in the other lists.

The core aspect of Bupa Fundamentals is that you’re not covered to see a specialist after being referred by a GP. So, how does the process work should you need medical treatment?

  1. Your GP will refer you to a specialist.
  2. You can either see an NHS specialist or pay to see someone privately.
  3. If the health issues require treatment and are covered within your policy, Bupa will cover the cost of out-patient scans and diagnosis.
  4. Bupa will then cover you for any eligible in-patient or day-patient treatments, as well as out-patient surgery if required.
  5. You’ll then have the option to attend two follow-up consultations within six months of your treatment through Bupa or claim up to £350 towards aftercare therapies.

Need help understanding Bupa policies?

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Bupa cancer cover

If you do purchase a Bupa health insurance policy, after selecting a core cover option that best suits your needs, you have the choice of one of 3 cancer options:

  1. Full cancer cover - following diagnosis, you’ll be fully covered for required cancer treatments without a financial or time limit, including cover of palliative and end of life care. 
  2. Cancer cover plus - if you are diagnosed with cancer, you won’t be covered for private treatment, and instead, you should use the NHS cancer services. Your policy will however cover you for radiotherapy, chemotherapy or surgical operations if they are otherwise unavailable through the NHS.
  3. No cancer cover - if you don’t need any cancer cover included within your health insurance policy, you can opt-out. This may reduce your premium in comparison to if you opt for full cancer or cancer cover plus.

Is Bupa the right health insurance provider for me?

The best health insurance provider for you depends on your personal circumstances, your expectations of your policy and other variables such as the realisation of members benefits. 

Bupa currently has a Trustpilot rating of 4.3 and over 5000 ratings. If you’re considering Bupa as an insurance provider, you can read their reviews here. You can also get in touch with us, and we’ll answer any questions you have and help you understand Bupa health insurance. We can advise you on whether we believe an alternative provider may be best suited to you, or if Bupa can offer you the best policy for your needs.

We work whole of market in the UK, partnering with some of the leading providers. This means that when you purchase a policy with us, we’ll compare your options for you independently.

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How to get a Bupa health insurance policy

If you would like to purchase a health insurance policy with Bupa, then you have several options available to you. Either purchase it through them directly via email or phone and begin the process with them. You’ll be offered a policy based on your needs and what is available to you.

Alternatively, you can utilise the expertise of an independent health insurance broker. This may be advantageous for you as an independent broker can negotiate a policy for you, as well as comparing it with policies from alternative providers. This process ensures that you’re purchasing the most competitive policy for you, as well as allowing you to ask any questions and find out unique details about each provider individually. Every health insurance provider is unique, and unless you go through a comparison process, it may be difficult to understand which is the best for you. Read our health insurance providers blog to learn about the differences you can expect to see and how we advise you to approach purchasing a health insurance policy.


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