bupa

Our Expert Review Of Bupa Health Insurance

Who Are Bupa?

In 1947, seventeen British provident associations joined together to form Bupa. Originally known as the British United Provident Association, Bupa’s aim was to provide healthcare for the general public.

Today it is the UK’s largest provider of Private Medical Insurance by number of policyholders.

Bupa is a private company limited by guarantee. With no shareholders, it therefore reinvests its profits back into the company to further support its members.

Private Medical Insurance Reviews

Bupa Medical Insurance has more than 7,000 reviews on independent reviews website Trustpilot, rating it as excellent with 4.4 stars out of 5.

Bupa’s Health Insurance

Bupa By You is the insurer’s main Private Health Insurance plan.

Bupa has also introduced an entry plan, you can read our review of their basic Fundamentals policy here.

Policy Overview

Bupa By You is split into a Comprehensive plan and a Treatment & Care plan.

Comprehensive cover pays for all eligible inpatient and outpatient healthcare. Meanwhile, Treatment & Care cover is the low cost health insurance option with Bupa By You. This mostly only pays for inpatient treatment.

Read more about the difference between inpatient and outpatient cover here.

Key Policy Benefits

  • 24 / 7 remote GP access
    Babylon Digital GP aims to offer you a video GP appointment within 2 hours of requesting one
  • Breakthrough cancer drugs and therapies
    Access to cutting-edge cancer drugs and treatments, even when they’re not approved for NHS use due to cost
  • Direct Access fast track service
    For cancer, mental health and musculoskeletal symptoms, you can call Bupa directly for advice and treatment, usually without a GP referral
  • Broad mental health coverage
    Bupa claims to cover more mental health conditions than any other UK Health Insurance provider
  • Anytime HealthLine
    Offers unlimited phone calls to a team of trained nurses via a 24 / 7 helpline to assist with smaller health concerns.

Documentation

Bupa Health Insurance key facts
Bupa Health Insurance policy terms

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What Does Bupa By You Cover?

Inpatient and Day-Patient Treatment

Inpatient and day-patient treatment involves all medical care requiring a hospital bed. This might be overnight (inpatient) or just for the day (day-patient). This most commonly, but not exclusively, involves surgical procedures.

Comprehensive

Treatment & Care

Hospital treatment

Specialist / consultant fees

Mental health treatment


Up to 28 days per year

Tests / scans
E.g. MRIs, CT scans, PET scans, X-rays

Limited
Tests / scans directly related to or as a followup after inpatient treatment within 6 months of discharge

Outpatient Treatment

All medical care not requiring a hospital bed. Comprehensive cover pays for this in full, up to your outpatient limit. However, Treatment & Care cover mostly only offers inpatient treatment.

Bupa offers a choice of outpatient cover limits:

  • £500
  • £750
  • £1,000
  • Unlimited.

However, when the outpatient treatment you have is for eligible cancer care, the benefit limit does not apply.

Comprehensive

Treatment & Care

Consultations

Limited
Only paid if directly related to or as a followup after inpatient treatment within 6 months of discharge

Tests / scans
E.g. MRIs, CT scans, PET scans, X-rays

Mental health treatment

Therapies
E.g. physiotherapy

Cancer Care

Cancer cover is one of the most valuable elements of any Private Medical Insurance policy. It pays for diagnosis and treatment of cancer, including offering access to drugs, treatments, therapies and procedures the NHS may not yet offer due to their cost.

When you take out a Bupa By You Health Insurance policy, you have three cancer cover options to choose from:

  • Full cancer cover
    Pays for all eligible inpatient and outpatient treatment for cancer
  • NHS Cancer Cover Plus
    Only pays for cancer treatment if the chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgical procedure you require isn’t available on the NHS
  • No cancer cover
    Does not pay for any cancer treatment. You’ll need to use the NHS if you develop cancer.

If you add cancer care to your policy, Bupa doesn’t impose any financial or time limits on treatment. As well treating cancer, Bupa’s cancer care offers:

  • Counselling after your diagnosis and during your treatment to offer psychological support
  • The chance to have chemotherapy at home rather than in a hospital setting where clinically appropriate
  • Palliative care if your cancer is incurable.

Hospital List

Your hospital list impacts which facilities you get private healthcare in and also how much your premiums will be. Some hospitals are more expensive than others, so opting for access to a wider array of private facilities increases premiums.

Bupa has three tiers of hospital lists:

  • Essential Access
  • Extended Choice
  • Extended Choice (inc. Central London).

See Bupa’s full hospital list here.

Medical Underwriting Options

When you apply for Health Insurance as an individual, you choose how you want your insurer to underwrite you.

Bupa has two medical underwriting options:

  • Full medical underwriting
    You disclose your medical history when you take out the policy
  • Moratorium underwriting
    Bupa won’t ask for any medical details until you submit a claim

These are two very different options which can impact the way your insurer decides on exclusions for any pre-existing conditions you may have. The best underwriting for you depends on your circumstances.

Read more about the difference between full medical underwriting and moratorium underwriting here.

Additional Benefits

Bupa includes these as standard with Health Insurance:

  • Parent accommodation
    If a child (aged under 16) your plan covers has eligible inpatient treatment under the policy, Bupa pays for one parent to stay with your child in the hospital
  • Private ambulance
    Bupa will pay up to £60 per journey if you need transportation in a private ambulance
  • NHS inpatient cash benefit
    If you opt to have inpatient treatment that your policy would have covered on the NHS rather than using your Health Insurance, Bupa pays £50 per night for up to 35 nights spent as an NHS inpatient
  • NHS cancer cash benefit
    If you opt for full cancer cover but choose to have cancer treatment under the NHS, Bupa pays a benefit of £100 for each day / night you receive eligible cancer treatment. For cancer treatment taken by mouth, Bupa pays the benefit for each 3 weekly interval or part thereof.

Optional Extras

You can add these additional benefits to your policy for an extra premium:

  • Complementary therapies
    Including acupuncture, chiropractic treatment and osteopathy
  • Cancer assist
    Pays out a cash benefit if you’re diagnosed with cancer
  • Dental 10 cash benefit
    Reimburses you for 100% of the charges you pay for NHS dental treatment such as checkups, scaling, polishing, fillings, root canals, crowns, dentures etc.
  • Dental 20 cash benefit
    Pays out up to a fixed cash sum towards checkups, scaling, polishing, fillings, crowns, bridges and extractions
  • Optical cash benefit
    Pays towards prescription glasses, contact lenses and routine sight tests
  • Prescriptions cash benefit
    Cash towards prescription fees you pay after a GP or dentist prescribes you medication.

Are There Any Exclusions?

Bupa’s Health Insurance exclusions are fairly standard to those across other providers. For example, they include:

  • Take home / outpatient drugs and dressing (unless for cancer)
  • Experimental drugs clinical trials have not proven to be effective
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Health screenings, routine tests and monitoring
  • Accident and emergency admissions
  • Complementary or alternative therapies
  • Birth control
  • Fertility treatment
  • Normal pregnancy and childbirth
  • Allergies, allergic disorders or food intolerances
  • Treatment of or relating to ageing, menopause or puberty
  • Cosmetic surgery.

Do I Have to Pay Towards My Treatment?

Bupa offers the option to add an excess to your policy, which is a sum of money you agree to pay upfront towards your private medical care. The higher your excess, the lower your monthly premiums.

However, you don’t have to add an excess if you don’t want to. Bupa offers a choice of excesses:

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

With Bupa, you pay your excess once per policy year. That means you can claim for multiple eligible conditions in a single policy year and only pay your excess once.

Read more about Health Insurance excesses here.

Key Comparison Points

No Claims Discount

Bupa has a fourteen level no claims discount system. This can offer up to 70% off premiums if you’ve made no Health Insurance claims.

However, Bupa doesn’t offer a protected no claims discount.

6 Week NHS Wait

Unlike other providers, Bupa does not offer the 6 week NHS wait option, which can be a way of keeping costs down by only paying for private inpatient treatment if the NHS wait for that treatment exceeds 6 weeks.

Large Hospital Network

Bupa has one of the UK’s largest networks of private hospitals and clinics.

Self Pay Option

Bupa is a big name in private healthcare in its own right. This means it has access to its own range of facilities that you can choose to self-fund treatment in rather than having Health Insurance.

NHS Cancer Plus

Bupa’s NHS Cancer Plus option offers you a way to keep premiums down while still getting access to the breakthrough cancer drugs that the NHS does not offer if necessary.

This option means the NHS will manage all of your cancer care. However, if there’s a drug, treatment or procedure the NHS does not offer due to cost, Bupa will still step in to pay for this treatment.

Compare Health Insurance & Get Expert Advice

As you can see, when you’re looking to compare UK private medical insurance policies there are lots of points to consider. With so many factors and a lot of different terminology at play, it can be tricky to do an accurate like-for-like comparison between providers.

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 issues as important as protecting our health. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

If you have an existing Bupa policy or are looking to set-up a new medical insurance plan give us a call on 02074425880 or email help@drewberry.co.uk.

I had a great experience with Drewberry, they have a lot of knowledge and expertise with life insurance and income protection and were able to advise me and arrange suitable products. Highly recommend.

Lachlan Mellings
12/08/2020
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