Bupa Health Insurance Review

Published: July 7, 2017

When searching the internet for health insurance companies in Australia, Bupa is frequently one of the first options to appear. Even when you’re not actively searching for health cover, Bupa’s advertising campaigns can’t be avoided.

With over 3.9 million Australians trusting Bupa to provide them with affordable, high-quality health cover, Bupa is one of the top health insurance providers.

Hospital cover

  • Budget
  • Standard
  • Top

Extras cover

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold

Other options

  • Ambulance cover
  • Corporate plans
  • FAQs

However, before choosing them to protect your health, it’s worth considering what they offer compared to other health insurance companies. This article will provide you with a break-down of their key services, benefits and exclusions.

ComparingExpert does not currently have access to this provider. Visit www.bupa.com.au to request a quote and compare their price and benefits to the Australian private health insurance companies we have access to.

About Bupa private health insurance

Bupa was established in 1947 in the United Kingdom and is an international, private, not-for-profit healthcare group, serving over 22 million customers in 190 countries. Having started as a private medical insurer that offered policies to individuals, companies, and other organisations, the group has since grown.

You can choose from a variety of options, including:

  • 3 Hospital plans
  • 5 Extras cover
  • 2 Ambulance cover options
  • Several hospital and extras combo packages
  • A variety of corporate plans and
  • Health insurance products for overseas students and overseas visitors.

Compare Bupa Hospital cover options

Budget Hospital

Offers affordable premiums suitable to the young and healthy people, that aren’t planning to have children.

Standard Hospital

Ideal for the young and healthy that are considering starting a family shortly.

Top Hospital

Bupa’s most comprehensive hospital cover, covering most treatments with an option to adjust your premium by choosing from different excess amounts. You can even choose a zero excess. However, this option will mean a higher monthly premium.

What’s Covered? Budget Hospital Standard Hospital Top Hospital
Hospital Accommodation
Operation Theatre Fees
Ward Fees
Medical Gap Cover
Surgically Implanted Prostheses
Removal of Appendicitis
Dental Surgery
Minor Gynaecological Surgery
Cardiac-Related Services
Emergency Ambulance Services
Pregnancy (includes childbirth)
Psychiatric Services (includes in-hospital treatment)
Weight-Loss Related Services (includes gastric banding and obesity-related services)
Assisted Reproductive Services (IVF)
Eye Surgery (includes cataracts and eye lens procedures)
Hip/Knee Replacement Surgery
Renal Dialysis for Chronic Renal Failure
Unemployment Cover, Health Subscription Refunds, and Family In-Hospital Benefits

Compare Bupa’s Extras cover options

These policies cover the expenses for additional treatments, like dietary services, optical treatments, physiotherapy, pharmacy expenses, and more.

Bupa Extras TypeWhat’s included
Bronze Extras: Basic expenses are covered.General dental, Bupa optical, physiotherapy, pharmacy, antenatal/postnatal services, and emergency ambulance services.
Your Choice Extras: Bronze extras plus additional benefits.Podiatry, speech therapy, eye therapy, and occupational therapy.
Silver Extras: Your Choice Extras & additional benefits.Dietary services, psychology, home nursing, health aids, and travel and accommodation expenses.
Gold Extras: Pays 75% back against 60% for the prior three levels at Member First* providers.General and major dental, orthodontics, optical and eye therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic & osteopathy, ante/post-natal services, pharmacy fees, dietary services, psychology, podiatry, and more. Also, for every year that you’re with Bupa health insurance, you’ll receive a Benefit Bonus with the amount you get back each time you claim.
Platinum Extras: Provides 90% back on Extras at Member First* providersGeneral and major dental, orthodontics, optical and eye therapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic & osteopathy, ante/post-natal services, pharmacy fees, dietary services, psychology, podiatry, speech therapy, occupational therapy, home nursing, health aids & appliances, and more. Also, for every year that you are with Bupa, you’ll receive a Benefit Bonus with the amount you get back each time you claim.

*Members First is Bupa’s network of providers, which includes thousands of dentists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, podiatrists, and optical outlets across Australia.

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Request your quote today
Need help? Call us on 1300 786 328

Compare  Bupa’s Hospital & Extras packages

If you prefer to combine your hospital cover with a few extras, then you can choose from one of Bupa’s Hospital & Extras packages. Bupa currently offers 11 different packages, each tailored to suit different age groups, income levels, and health conditions.

Simple Start: This affordable package offers basic hospital cover and 100% cover for some common treatments and accidents, with other services paid for minimum benefits.

Active Saver: A low-cost private health cover package for the young and active, which includes cover in private hospitals and day surgeries for selected commonly treated services.

Young Singles Saver: This package is affordable and offers Basic Hospital cover, mainly for accidentally sustained injuries and common procedures, with some Extras cover included.

Young Couples Saver: This package offers good value on Extras for you and your partner, giving you cover for most commonly treated services in private hospitals and day surgeries, as well as an increased annual limit on dental and an annual top-up bonus.

Young Singles Choice: Designed for young and healthy singles that want private health insurance for Hospital and Extras such as dental and messages but without paying for services that you may not need.

Young Couples Choice: This package covers medical services that you receive after you’ve been admitted to hospital, but not services from your GP. Emergency department treatment isn’t included.

Growing Family: Great family cover, which includes no excess for kids, gap-free dental, optical and physiotherapy at Members First providers, $100 yearly top-up bonus, and guaranteed a single room at Members First hospitals.

Budget Family: This affordable package cares for your family’s well-being, covering affordable extras and hospital cover that includes full cardiac. It also includes no excess for kids and gap free dental and physiotherapy at Members First providers.

Established Family: This package covers you for a wide range of Extras and Hospital cover, including full cardiac and joint surgeries, but not pregnancy. You also get gap free physiotherapy and dental and no excess for kids at Members First providers.

Prime Plus: An affordable, medium-level package ideal for mature singles and couples who aren’t planning to have kids. Covers general and major dental, health aids, and podiatry. Excludes cover for pregnancy. You’ll also receive 70% back on extras services at Bupa’s Members First network providers.

Ultimate Health Cover: This package is Bupa’s “all-in-one,” which combines comprehensive Hospital and Extras cover with many additional benefits and no excesses or co-payments.

Compare Bupa’s Ambulance cover options

Bupa offers Emergency Only Ambulance cover and Premium Ambulance cover:

  • Emergency Only Ambulance gives you unlimited ambulance treatment and transport in emergency situations, like fractured bones or severe chest pain.
  • Premium Ambulance provides on-the-spot treatment anywhere in Australia and includes an added security of $5,000 worth of non-emergency road and air ambulance trips.

Compare Bupa’s corporate plans

Bupa understands the need for a healthy workforce. With this in mind, they have created a unique corporate health insurance offering, which includes corporate health insurance plans that provide coverage to employees and their families.

Through partnerships with several Australian organisations, Bupa private health insurance offers employees the opportunity to get tailored health solutions, competitive premiums, and corporate health benefits to suited to their needs.

Corporate Benefits Include:

  • Up to 90% back on general dental and selected optical, physiotherapy, and chiropractic services at Bupa Members First network providers.
  • Employees could benefit from special joining offers (depending on the health plan that they choose) and Member Discounts through Bupa’s partners, like Hoyts, Goodlife Health Clubs, etc.
  • On-site activities, including one-to-one consultations and group workshops.
  • Hassle-free payments via group Autopay and an easier claims process with your Bupa Corporate Customer Card to make simple on-the-spot claims processing at participating healthcare providers.

Corporate Support Includes:

  • A dedicated account manager to help employees with advice and assistance.
  • Various funding options for you to choose from.
  • Bupa specialist Workplace Health Advisors help organisations develop solutions and wellness strategies.

Bupa’s Exclusions, Waiting Periods, and Excess Amounts

General exclusions

  • Treatment not covered under Medicare is cosmetic surgery, is experimental, or relates to a clinical trial of pharmaceuticals.
  • Costs incurred because of criminal activity, treatment from a suspended practitioner, or excessive and unnecessary servicess.

Waiting Periods

  • The waiting period varies according to the treatment required.
  • 12 months for pre-existing conditions.
  • 6 months for living well programs.
  • 2 months for general dental, etc.

Minimum Benefits

  • Depends on the level of cover you choose and some policies provide minimum benefits specified under the PHI Act.

Excess Amounts

  • An excess reduces the burden on the insurer, allowing them to provide the policies at a lower premium.
  • Bupa caps the excess amount at $500, with various policies ranging between $0 and $500.

Bupa Health Insurance FAQs

Who owns Bupa Healthcare?

Bupa, originally called the British United Provident Association, was established in 1947 when four large and 13 smaller associations and contributory hospital schemes came together to create a private company, limited by guarantee, without shareholders. The four large associations included the Central Provident Association, the British Provident Association, the Oxford and District Provident Association, and the Birmingham Extended Benefit Scheme.

How do I claim from my Bupa Health Cover policy?

From Your Bupa Hospital Policy:

  • With Bupa’s gap cover: If the doctor uses Bupa’s gap cover scheme, the billing will directly be taken care of by Bupa, and 100% of the payment will be paid to the provider on your behalf.
  • Without Bupa’s gap cover: If the doctor doesn’t use Bupa’s gap cover scheme, he/she will send you the bill for the medical services, which you need to take to Medicare and then Bupa for payment.

From Your Bupa Extras Policy:

  • At the point of purchase: You can use the electronic claims facility to get instant benefits by swiping your membership card at any of their 20,000 service providers. Your claim will be processed automatically, and you only need to pay the balance.
  • Online claims: You can log into your myBupa account and fill in the details to make online claims.
  • Postal service: You can fill out a claims form and post it to Bupa and payments will be made through EFT or cheque.

How much does Bupa Health Insurance cost?

Your premium depends on your personal details, the type of cover that you choose, and the excess amount, all of which form part of the terms and conditions of your policy. For example, BUPA private health insurance costs around $16.85 per week for a 34 years old male, with a $500 excess.

How much does Bupa cost for a family of 4?

A family of four can choose a Budget Family policy, starting from $64.55 or an Established Family policy, starting from $86.10 a week. Alternatively, you can select the Ultimate Health Cover policy, starting from $145.75 or you can build your own policy to suit your family and your budget.

Does Bupa cover my gym membership?

Yes, Bupa will cover a part of your gym membership fees if said gym or program was recommended by your referring provider as part of a health or chronic disease management service.

To determine if Bupa is, in fact, the right health insurer for you and your family, it might be worth comparing their product with other health insurance companies offering similar products.

Compare Health Insurers

Request your quote today
Need help? Call us on 1300 786 328

Ask an Expert?


  • F Egan |

    How much per month for Top Hospital no extras cover?

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi, we need a little more information to provide you with an accurate quote, including the state you live in and whether you’re single or need cover for the whole family.

      To give you an idea of Bupa’s Top Hospital only price range, a single adult living in NSW can expect to pay about $244.60 per month. Take note that this premium does not yet include the April health insurance premium increase.

  • Gill selig |

    What is the price for a senior couple 81 years old to have Prime Plus? One is in a nursing home the other lives in a retirement villa

    They are currently on Bupa health smart plan with a $ 500 excess. They live in NSW.

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi Gill.

      To get the best possible price for seniors health insurance we suggest comparing policies. To give you an idea, as of April 2018:
      • Bupa Prime Plus $500 Excess: $561.50 per month
      • GMHBA V Pus Gold Package: $648.54 per month
      • Australian Unity Top Choice: $528.20 per month.
      • Nib Premier Plus $500 Excess: $746.74 per month.

      It all depends what type of hospital and extras coverage they need. However, with a seniors health care card they can save a lot more.

      Give us a call on 1300 786 328 so a specialist can help you find the most affordable coverage.

  • JW |

    Under Hospitals and Medical Services cover, what exactly is covered in Minor Gynaecological Surgery please?

      Anneke Van Aswegen |


      Generally, minor gynaecological surgeries refer to such procedures like insertion or removal of an IUD or a colposcopy which is the examination of the cervix using a microscope to evaluate an abnormal pap smear and a hysteroscopy which refers to the inspection of the uterine cavity using a tiny trans-cervical telescope.

      In short, ‘minor’ usually indicates non-invasive types of procedures. However, it’s best to contact the insurer and ask them for a list of minor surgeries that they’ll cover.

  • Judy |

    Hi, I am wanting to get top hospital cover for my son. He is 24 years old and had some mental health issues. I am wanting also wanting extras such as chiro, physio, dental etc.

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi Judy.
      Because I do not know the state your son lives in or his personal circumstances, I can’t provide you with a health insurance comparison. Please fill in the quote form above and a specialist will help you find the right type of cover suited to your son’s unique requirements or call 1300 786 328 for immediate assistance.

      As you’re commenting on the Bupa page, I assume you’re looking for Bupa Top Hospital and Extras cover. If that is the case, their Prime Plus options or Ultimate Health Cover for singles both options include a high level of hospital and extras cover. However, it might be a good idea to shop around and compare benefits and prices from leading health insurance companies in Australia before making a decision.

  • Shirley |

    My husband and I are now 60 years old. We have a Start & Save Hospital policy with Standard Extras cover which we have had for years.

    Is this cover still suitable for us or should we now look at different options?

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hello Shirley.

      Wow, what a great question! I’m sure there are many other people over the age of 50 wondering the same thing.

      Because I’m not familiar with you and your husband’s specific requirements, for example, might you need joint replacement surgery in future or need hearing aids, etc. I can’t know what policy type and level of coverage would be best.

      We would love to help you review your current policy and determine whether it still meets your current and future requirements. Please call the specialists on 1300 786 328 for immediate assistance.

      Have a great day.

  • M.singh |

    My wife is in Australia as of last week on visitor visa 600. I want to best health insurance pack for her. For example, Ambulance cover, Prescription medicine and if possible in future pregnancy cover.

    How long could it take to get pregnancy cover? Please reply me asap. I will join tomorrow.

    Thank you.

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hello Mr Singh

      There are many funds you can choose from for health insurance for 600 Visa. However, if you’d like a policy that includes pregnancy cover, you’ll generally need a more comprehensive plan. Please have a read of our article regarding health insurance for pregnancy.

      The waiting period for pregnancy cover is generally 12 months after your policy commences.

  • KC |

    My mother-in-law is currently in Australia and has applied for permanent residency. She has been granted a bridging visa which allows her to stay in Australia until they make a decision regarding her application. The Australian government is currently processing applications from 2016. Therefore, she will be in Australia for at least 2 years before a decision is made.

    Can I purchase health insurance for her while she is waiting for a decision on her permanent visa? If not, please let me know if there is another option. Thank you!

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi KC, thanks for reaching out.

      In the circumstances of a bridging visa, you can generally purchase an Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC) policy available from many major health funds in Australia.