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Bupa Health Insurance: An In-Depth Review

Your personal health requirements and lifestyle are everchanging. As these changes happen, you may need different things to improve your quality of life. Health Insurance was created to assist people with these needs. As we all know, out-of-pocket costs for health-related services can increase rapidly. Having a Health Insurance policy that matches all your personal health requirements will ensure that you always have the coverage you need – when you need it.

Megan Fraser

Fact Checked

Updated: 19 May 2024

Bupa Health Insurance is a private health insurance provider with many branches worldwide. This comprehensive guide will discuss who Bupa Health Insurance is, their history, policies and answer some of the many frequently asked questions about Bupa Health Insurance.

Key facts

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

History of Bupa

Originally founded in the early 1950s, Bupa Health Insurance has since expanded globally. In 2002, Bupa expanded into Australia by merging with a Health Insurance firm that had been around since the 1930s and has been assisting residents of Australia and New Zealand ever since. As of 2023, Bupa now assists around 4 million Australians with their Health Insurance policies and holds a 24.8% market share.

Bupa states its purpose is ‘to prevent, relieve and cure sickness and ill-health of every kind’ and to ‘help customers live longer, healthier, happier lives’. The way that Bupa achieves this personal mission is by providing policyholders with a range of benefits that aim to lower any costs that may occur. Bupa Health Insurance has acquired agreements from many healthcare facilities and providers to ensure that Bupa policyholders receive additional service coverage.

Types of Cover

Bupa offers a wide range of policies to assist different groups of people with different lifestyles. These policies aim to assist singles, couples, families, and single parents. Like every health insurance provider in Australia, Bupa also utilises the policy tier structure, which determines the overall coverage a policyholder may have.

Some of the policies that Bupa offers include:

This offers potential policyholders many choices, and attempts to ensure that every person’s individual health insurance requirements are met. Interestingly, Bupa now offers Bupa Flextras. Bupa Flextras is a policy type that lets you choose the extras you want and requires you to only pay for those. This is a great way of ensuring that your policy is maximised while also lowering the costs.

What makes the Bupa Packages and Combined Cover interesting is that it offers the potential policyholder a little more choice. The combined cover (Bupa Hospital and Extras Policy) allows you to separately choose your hospital and extras policy based on your requirements. The Bupa Packages are preformulated policies that offer extras and hospital cover in one policy. 

Pros and Cons

To choose the right policy and Health Insurance Provider, it is important always to weigh the pros and cons. Weighing the pros and cons of each policy and health insurance provider allows you to make a decision that will directly match your own personal needs while maximising the coverage that you receive and lowering your monthly costs.

Pros of Bupa Health Insurance:
  • Ability to choose and pay for specific Extras.
  • Wide range of Health Insurance Policies to choose from.
  • Offers a network of healthcare facilities and providers that greatly lowers the out-of-pocket costs for policyholders.
  • 24/7 access to doctors with Blua and 100% off on any costs for Bupa International Members.
  • Discounts and rewards for members.
Cons of Bupa Health Insurance:
  • Bupa Health Insurance has a 1.4 out of 5-star rating. These reviews mention bad experiences with customer service, long wait times on the phone, and difficulty with contacting Bupa.
  • Bupa Health Insurance has many complaints that the Ombudsman has investigated.
  • The average cost of a policy is higher than most health insurance providers.

Cost Comparison

Now that we have discussed the history of Bupa Health Insurance and the policies offered, let’s look at these policies and the average cost one may pay to receive coverage.

Compare Bupa’s Policies

Hospital Cover
Hospital Premium
Extras Cover
Extras Premium
Basic Accident Only Hospital
$103.35 – $109.80
Extras Saver
$16.00
Basic Plus Starter Hospital
$109.90 – $116.40
Essential 50 Visitors Cover Extras
$26.30
Bronze Plus Simple Hospital
$121.80 – $154.15
Budget Extras 60
$27.10
Gold Comprehensive Hospital ($500 Excess)
$321.15 – $351.70
Your Choice Extras 60
$52.50
Reciprocal Health Cover – Basic
$102
FLEXtras 4
$51.20 – $75.15
Silver Plus Advanced Hospital
$215.55 – $249.70
FLEXtras 6
$56.10 – $83.50
Silver Plus Assured Hospital
$229.45 – $283.80
Core Extras
$50.40
Silver Plus Intermediate Hospital
$150.80 – $183.55
Wellness Extras
$68.55

Source: Privatehealth.gov.au (November 2023; Premium estimates for a single individual living in NSW)

Customer Service and Claim Process

Bupa offers its members five different ways to file a claim. This makes the claim process easier and grants their members a diverse number of methods that match their personal needs to file a claim.

A claim can be filed in one of the following ways:

The customer service provided by Bupa is one of the prover’s main concerns. Although there are avenues to contact the team at Bupa, many of the company reviews have been negative due to long wait times, difficulty in getting through to a consultant, and issues with the customer service process as a whole.

How to Join

Bupa offers two methods for potential members to apply. This can be done online or through the post. To apply, the applicant simply needs to fill out the application form found on the Bupa website and send it in. Once this form is completed, the applicant must fill out a clearance certificate. This will ensure that the transfer is successful and will assist the applicant in solidifying the transition.

Once the process is set in motion, the applicant can check with their current Health Insurance Provider to ensure that the process is moving along seamlessly. Although a health insurance provider may assist in the transitioning processit is always a good idea to monitor the progress.

When the application is finalised, and the member has been successfully accepted as a Bupa member, the premiums will start to be removed from the member’s account, and, where applicable, the necessary waiting period will begin.

Bupa Family Policies

Bupa offers Hospital, Extras, combined, and Bupa Flextras policies for familiesIf the policyholder has chosen a set of extras but has not used them within a calendar year, these extras can be switched out for a different amount. Bupa has done this to ensure its members can receive coverage on extras when their health requirements change and develop over time.

A dependant can remain on the Family Policy until the age of 32. The dependant will only remain on the policy till this age if they are a full-time student and not married or in a de-facto relationship. To transition from a family plan to an individual plan, the dependant simply needs to choose and apply for a policy that matches their personal needs.

Common
Mistakes
to Avoid

When choosing a health insurance policy, it is important not to rush the decision. Weighing the pros and cons of each policy and Health Insurance provider is the best way to ensure you partner with a company that grants you coverage that matches your current personal health requirements. 

The best way to make a decision is to compare the costs, coverage, benefits, rewards, customer reviews, claims processes, complaint processes, and extra cover that each company provides. The biggest mistake that most people make is applying for the first Health Insurance Policy that they find. This can often mean that they do not receive the coverage that they need or they have coverage for things that do not apply to them. Doing ample research on the insurance provider and offered policies is how to make the best possible decision.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Bupa has a high amount of complaints due to customer service. The main frustration around the company is that it is difficult to contact the relevant departments. Currently, Bupa has no live chat feature and can only be contacted between 8 AM and 8 PM from Monday to Friday. Due to this many complaints, Bupa Health Insurance has a 1.5 out of 5 star rating.

The age limit for dependants is 32. This only applies if the dependant is a full-time student and is not married or in a de-facto relationship. If a dependant needs to switch from the family policy to an individual policy, they simply need to decide on the policy that they want and apply for it. They will then be removed as a dependent on the family policy and receive their own personal plan.

The cost of Health Insurance will vary greatly based on factors such as age, location, lifestyle, and policy type. Bupa generally has a higher average cost on policies than its competitors. Although the cost of a policy is higher, Bupa does offer its members a large number of benefits and rewards to lower the overall out-of-pocket cost that a member may have during their visit to a healthcare facility.

The main benefit of Bupa’s extra cover is the personalised policy that a member can create. Since Bupa allows its members to pick and choose which of the extras cover they require, this means that members will only have to pay for what they require.

Yes. In Australia, it is a simple process to switch Health Insurance Providers. Once you have found a policy and provider that you like, the process can begin. In most instances, the Private Health Insurance Provider you are applying to will assist you. If you have paid any premiums upfront, your previous health insurance provider will provide a refund on it.

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Specialist

Megan has extensive experience writing about health and life insurance in Australia. Megan has a special interest in health and wellness. She relies on her background in counselling psychology to convey the latest findings in a manner that is most beneficial to ComparingExperts readers. In every article she writes, Megan aims to uphold the standards of the Private Health Insurance Intermediaries Association (PHIAA) which ComparingExpert is part of.

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