Bupa Company Health Insurance [Review]

Who Are Bupa?

Since being founded in 1947 Bupa has become one of the most recognised health insurance providers in the world. It currently services over 38 million customers and unlike other providers Bupa solely focus on health insurance and health care.

It offers flexible solutions which can be tailored to suit the needs of most businesses, whether you’re a small to medium enterprise (SME) or larger corporate. Bupa’s product and services are endorsed by the 16,000+ reviews and 4.3 start rating on Trustpilot.

Bupa Business Health Insurance

As one of the leading health insurance providers, it’s no surprise that Bupa offer a wide range of products. These can be tailored to suit the specific needs of individuals and businesses of all sizes.

When it comes to Business Health Insurance, one of its most popular products is the Select plan for SME’s. This provides company health insurance to small businesses with up to 249 employees.

At a time when the NHS finds itself stretched, this type of policy is highly valuable. Employees could skip long waiting queues of up to 18 weeks with this type of benefit.

Bupa Select Policy Overview

The Bupa Select policy includes the following features:

  • Full cancer diagnosis and treatment
    Bupa’s group health insurance covers your employees in full for cancer diagnosis and treatments at private hospitals within the Bupa network
  • Fast track access
    Your team will have direct access to support for muscle, bone and joint pain, and mental health conditions
  • 24 / 7 Digital GP
    Remote access to GPs and nurses to advise on a range of issues
  • Choice of hospital lists
    You’ll be able to choose the hospital network that suits your employees best, either to include or exclude Central London
  • Rewards
    Bupa’s business health insurance policy also offers your staff a range of member rewards for health, wellbeing and leisure.

What Does Bupa Select For Small Businesses Cover?

Bupa’s Select group health plan is designed to provide group private medical insurance for the diagnosis and treatment of any issues your employees might have. It’s tailored for small and medium businesses with between 2 and 249 employees. The cover for Bupa’s Select plan is outlined below.

Core Cover

All levels of Bupa’s group health plan includes full cover for certain treatments, regardless of the other cover options you choose.


Your employees will receive full cover for any in-patient treatment that requires an overnight stay in hospital of at least one night. Cardiac surgery, for example, will usually require several days recovering in hospital before being discharged.


This cover involves procedures or treatments that require some recovery time in a hospital bed, but patients will be discharged on the same day. Some common examples include surgery for varicose veins or cataracts. If you need more information on the differences between in-patient and out-patient treatment, we’ve got you covered.

Cancer Cover

The thought of receiving a cancer diagnosis is a huge concern for many people. To support the long-term health of your employees, as well as their peace of mind, Bupa’s core group health plan offers full cancer cover. That means any consultations, diagnostic tests, therapies and treatments relating to any cancer diagnosis are covered in full.

Additional Cover

In addition to the core cover, Bupa Select has additional levels of cover to choose from. This is primarily based on the amount of Out-patient treatment you opt for.

Out-patient treatment refers to any treatment you have that requires you to attend hospital but NOT stay overnight. For example this might include:

  • Diagnostics tests and scans (x-rays, CT scans, blood tests)
  • Physiotherapy
  • Consultations.

Out-patient cover is one of the biggest differentiators when it comes to the cost of the Select policy. The more out-patient cover you provide the more expensive the policy.

Bupa offer 3 levels of out-patient cover within their Select Plan.

  • Key
  • Enhanced
  • Complete.

It’s not just out-patient cover that varies depending on the Select option you choose. Treatment for therapies and hospital options do too. The type of cover you opt for will also be a determining factor of your final premium.

How Does Bupa Selects Key, Enhanced & Complete Cover Differ?

As mentioned above Bupa’s Select plan comes with 3 options, Key, Enhanced and Complete. The option you select for your employees will affect the cover they get.

  • Out-patient Cover
    The amount of cover employees get for out-patient treatment will vary across options. Cover for this type of treatment ranges from £1,000 to full cover, depending on the option you choose
  • Therapies
    Cover for therapies treatment such as acupuncture, chiropractic treatment and osteopathy ranges from £250 to full cover. It’s important to note that in some cases, the amount of cover your employees have for therapies is deducted from their out-patient cover
  • Hospital List
    A hospital list is simply a list of hospitals that your employees would be eligible to receive treatment in. Bupa’s Select products offer two different types, Partnership and Participating Networks. Partnership encompasses over 300 hospitals across the UK, whereas Participating offers 600. This is due to the fact it includes all Partnership hospitals plus specialist Central London clinics.

To help show you how the different options vary we have provided an overview of each below.

Bupa Select: Key

Key Facts Icon

Bupa’s Key policy is the first level of group health insurance they offer. It provides a maximum of £1,000 of cover towards out-patient treatments and surgeries, with £250 of that allowance for therapies cover. For businesses on a budget, this is the most cost-effective option.

Key Cover



Hospital List


Up to £250 of £1,000 outpatient cover

Partnership network

Bupa Select: Enhanced

Key Facts Icon

If you’re in the market for a more mid-price option for your business, the Enhanced plan might appeal. This particular policy offers an increased amount of out-patient and therapies cover.

Unlike Key cover, your employees would receive £1,500 of combined out-patient and therapies cover. This would give them a good deal of protection should they need treatment for a health concern. Not only this it offers a more extensive hospital list.

Enhanced Cover



Hospital List


Up to £1,500 of outpatient cover

Partnership network

Bupa Select: Complete

Key Facts Icon

The most comprehensive option for a Select policy is Complete cover. This covers your employees for all eventualities when it comes to out-patient and therapies treatment.

As well as this, it gives them access to all 600 hospitals through Bupa’s Participating network. This will, of course, increase the cost of the group health policy.

Complete Cover



Hospital List



Participating network

Bupa’s Select business health policy only applies to UK mainland territories. Adding Island Cover extends the policy to cover other regions of the UK, this includes Jersey, Guernsey and The Isle of Man.

Customising A Bupa Select Plan

While these are Bupa’s standard products, they can be customised. For example, you might want your team to have full out-patient cover, but only need access to Bupa’s Partnership hospital network.

As employee benefits experts, our consultants at Drewberry™ can offer tailored advice to suit your particular business needs. Having a qualified intermediary arrange your cover takes the heavy lifting out of a time consuming job and ensures everything is set up correctly. We can also use our negotiating power to get you the best possible rates.

If you want to discuss your options don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 02074425880 or emailing help@drewberry.co.uk.

Nadeem Farid Head of Employee Benefits at Drewberry

Bupa also offers corporate health insurance for groups of 250 employees or more. This provides different levels of cover to keep your staff healthy and support them with any wellbeing concerns. For more information on this, speak to one of our experts.

Nadeem Farid
Head of Health and Wellbeing

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Bupa Business Health Options

Once you’ve selected your Key, Enhanced, Complete, or Custom plan, there are several additional healthcare benefits you can add to your core policy.

Adding all of them will increase the cost of the policy, but your employees will have a more comprehensive policy to protect and improve their health.

Mental Health

While mental health cover isn’t included as a core part of Bupa’s business health insurance, it can be added to your plan as an optional extra. As mental health issues can be a prevalent concern, this is a popular option for an employer to include.

  • Mental health and psychiatric services are paid in full for up to 45 days each year
  • This covers consultancy, treatment and facility charges.

Dental & Optical

Bupa’s Dental & Optical cover allows your team to claim cashback on certain treatments, within the below limits.

  • Up to £100 optical cash benefit in a two-year period
  • Up to £900 accidental dental injury cash benefit in a two-year period
  • Up to £20 prescription cash benefit each year.

Bupa Group Dental Insurance

If you’d like to enhance the private dental cover your employees have, you can take out a Bupa Group Dental Plan. This can form part of your group health policy as an add-on, or it can be a singular policy on its own, separate from the group health cover outlined.

The plan provides extensive dental cover, including emergency dental cover, dental injury and routine dental treatment.

The options start from Core cover and range from Level 1 to Level 4. As each level increases, so does the amount of cover and the cost of the premium.

Each level of the plan offers a corresponding amount of cover for the following treatments:

  • Routine examination
  • Dental X-rays
  • Simple scale and polish
  • Fillings and root canals
  • Extractions
  • Restorative dental treatment
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Anaesthetist fees.

Regardless of which plan you choose, your staff will always have a 100% reimbursement for NHS treatment and a cash benefit of £100 per night for a hospital stay.

Bupa Business Health Cash Plan

Another option for an add-on feature or a standalone policy is Bupa’s health cash plan, Wellbeing Health Expenses.

It provides cash back to employees for everyday health and wellbeing costs. This includes:

  • Optical care
  • Dental treatment
  • Prescription charges.

The cash plan can be used to supplement the Bupa Select policy or as a cheaper alternative for a group health scheme. There are some key differences between group health insurance and business health cash plans that it’s important to be aware of.

The levels of cover range from Level 1 to Level 3. All levels include an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with a choice between a Key and a Premier EAP. This provides 24/7 access to specialist helplines for a range of concerns.

Healthy Minds: Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Bupa’s EAP, Healthy Minds, can also be added onto a business health policy, or taken out separately from any other products. Depending on whether you take out the Key or Premier EAP, your team can look forward to the following benefits:

Employee Assistance Program



Premier EAP

Telephone Helpline

Specialist Legal Helpline

Specialist Financial Helpline

Online Resources

Structured Short-Term Counselling

Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Specialist Family Care Helpline

Additional Benefits

Regardless of what other cover options you choose, these additional benefits are guaranteed to be included in all Bupa Select plans.

Direct Access Services

For all group health policies, Bupa offers a fast-tracked service for members who are worried about, or begin to experience symptoms of three most common conditions that cause sickness absences:

  • Cancer
  • Mental health issues
  • Musculoskeletal conditions.

Cases are assessed via telephone and passed through Bupa’s referral process if further treatment is required. This could be an appointment with a consultant, a mental health practitioner or a physiotherapist. This means your team can access treatment more quickly.

Digital GP

Bupa also includes a virtual GP in partnership with Babylon on all group health policies. This gives your employees access to appointments with a registered doctor 24/7 via the Babylon app.

The app comes with a Symptom Checker to recommend what next steps you should take based on your current state of health. GPs can make referrals if you require further consultations, and can also give prescriptions for any medication you may need.

NHS Cash Benefit

If your team members receive certain treatments under the NHS that would’ve been eligible under the policy, they’ll receive a cash benefit from Bupa. This pays out the following amounts:

  • £50 per night for NHS in-patient treatment, up to 35 nights a year
  • £100 per night for NHS in-patient treatment for radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or cancer surgeries
  • £100 per day of day-patient or outpatient treatment for radiotherapy, chemotherapy or cancer surgeries.


Bupa’s Anytime HealthLine service has qualified nurses on hand 24/7 to offer help and advice on a range of concerns. Some of the issues they’re able to help with include musculoskeletal pain, rashes, fevers and flu, and medication enquiries. Members can call on behalf of themselves or for support concerning family members’ health.

Menopause HealthLine

With an estimated 1 million women having left the workforce due to menopause, there’s an increased focus on supporting women during this time. All Bupa’s health insurance members have access to their Menopause HealthLine. Nurses specialising in menopause are on-hand to provide guidance and advice on managing symptoms.

Family Mental HealthLine

Any parent covered by a Bupa health insurance policy will also have access to Bupa’s Family Mental Healthline. For those that are concerned about their children’s emotional wellbeing or a change in their behaviour, trained advisers and mental health support nurses are available to provide support.


Through Bupa’s Rewards benefit, your staff have access to discounts and savings across a range of health, wellbeing and leisure retailers. This includes saving 1/3 on gym memberships, discounts on Fitbit products, and savings on sports bookings through Playfinder to name a few.

Bupa Academy

Alongside the additional benefits Bupa offers your staff, they also offer The Bupa Academy for Workplace Health and Wellbeing for you, the employer. Through a series of webinars, blogs and live events, your leadership teams can gain a closer insight into several topics relating to employee wellbeing. Topics covered include:

  • Neurodiversity in the workplace
  • Supporting employees through the menopause
  • Disability inclusion
  • Stress awareness and management.

The Academy aims to help you understand various challenges employees might face at work, and empowers you to help staff overcome these challenges.

Joe Toft, health & wellbeing expert at Drewberry

Including full cancer cover at a core level makes Bupa’s business health plan a very competitive option. And with the additional benefits, our clients can make great use of the Digital GP service, fast-track access for mental health, and wellbeing benefits.

Joseph Toft
Senior Employee Benefits Consultant

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How Much Does Bupa Business Health Insurance Cost?

The main reason why prices will vary is the level of private medical cover you opt for. The more cover you want the policy to provide, the higher the additional cost. There are other factors that will impact the cost of business health insurance, however. These include:

Medical Underwriting Options

All group health schemes go through underwriting before a policy will begin, and this has an impact on the price. You’ll have a choice between the following options:

  • Full Medical Underwriting
    Each employee completes a medical assessment. Because all risk factors have been disclosed, this is the most cost-effective option
  • Moratorium
    Does not require employees to disclose their full medical history. Instead Bupa would exclude treatment for any condition suffered in the last 5 years
  • Medical History Disregarded
    Effectively ignores employees’ pre-existing conditions so your policy would treat all eligible conditions regardless of when it occurred
  • Continued Medical Exclusions
    This only applies for companies with existing private medical insurance. Previous medical exclusions will continue to be applied by a new provider.


Opting to have your staff pay an excess in the event of a claim will impact the cost of the policy. As with most kinds of insurance, a higher excess will make the policy cheaper, while a lower excess will increase the price.

The excess is paid once per policy year and it will need to be affordable for your staff. For Bupa’s business health plan, you can select an excess in any of the following amounts:

  • £0
  • £100
  • £150
  • £200
  • £500.

Six Week Option

One way to manage the costs of your policy is to implement a six-week option. This means that if the NHS can provide inpatient or day-patient treatment within six weeks of a referral, then the treatment will take place under the NHS.

If it takes longer than six weeks to be seen by the NHS, then any treatment or tests will be covered by Bupa. Choosing this option will apply either a 15% or a 25% discount on the cost of cover, depending on the members’ age.

Your Company

Once the level of cover, medical underwriting option and excess have all been factored in, the cost of the policy is also subject to:

  • How many employees you have
  • The average age of your team
  • Your company’s location (Central London companies cost more to insure)
  • The frequency of your payments (paying annually is cheaper than paying monthly).

Example Cost

To illustrate the potential costs of a Bupa Select group health scheme, we’ve provided an example of premiums on varying levels of cover. The examples assume:

  • 6 team members aged 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50
  • Full mental health treatment
  • Moratorium underwriting
  • £100 excess.

A company based media agency in Central London could expect to pay:

London Based Media Agency


Weekly Cost Per Employee

Total Monthly Cost










Figures correct as of September 2022

Treatment tends to be cheaper outside of Central London. By comparison, a business operating in Coventry could expect the following costs:

Conventry Based Architects


Weekly Cost Per Employee

Total Monthly Cost










Figures correct as of September 2022

The flexibility on offer with Bupa’s group health plan means there’s usually an option for every budget. You can add features that may be more important to you and your employees, such as full therapies cover, for example. You can also exclude cover that you don’t need.

It’s worth remembering that the costs of a business policy will usually increase over time. This is because as your employees grow older, the risk of them falling unwell increases and so there’s an increased chance of the insurer paying out larger amounts in claims.

Get Expert Help Setting Up Your Bupa Group Health Insurance

As you can see, providing a company health insurance policy comes with a range of options and benefits. When it comes to setting up a Bupa business health insurance plan that works for you, there’s a lot to consider.

Finding the right cover for your business will depend on your company’s budget, priorities and wellbeing strategy. With so many options to add, remove, and customise a private healthcare policy, it can be tricky to know exactly what you need.

Our expert employee benefits consultants can talk you through all the details, making sure you get the most suitable cover for your circumstances.

Why Speak to Us?

We started Drewberry™ because we were tired of being treated like a number.

We all deserve a first class service when it comes to things as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

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If you are unhappy with our service, we have a complaints procedure, details of which are available upon request. If you are unhappy with how your complaint has been dealt with, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS website is www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.

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