Bupa customers receive mental health boost


More than 2.2 million Bupa customers will receive a $200 increase to their mental health Extras limits until 31 December 2021 as Australians continue to grapple with the health, financial and social uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year 54 per cent of mental health claims paid by Bupa were made by customers using those services for the first time.

Bupa Health Insurance Managing Director, Emily Amos, said this shows the significant impact of the pandemic on the mental wellbeing of Australians.

“Supporting the mental wellbeing of our community is a significant challenge to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with many Australians accessing mental healthcare for the first time,” Ms Amos said.  

“Customers have said they want more accessibility to mental health services and it is an important part of their products, especially for younger members.

“The addition of $200 more in mental health benefits[1] will give customers coverage for almost three extra psychology or counselling sessions and we hope this helps ease the stress on our customers’ minds and hip-pockets in 2021.”

Ms Amos said Bupa is always looking to adapt its policies so they remain relevant to customers’ evolving needs, particularly over the past year where mental health has been a major focus.

“We’ve seen real innovation in how customers want to access mental health care. Our customers are now covered for digital mental health online courses while psychology has been the most used service since we made telehealth available in March last year,” Ms Amos said.

“Health insurers have an important role to play in Australia’s health response to COVID-19 by supporting customers to ensure they can get timely access to affordable health and wellbeing services when they need it most.”

Bupa also expanded its Mind Care Choices program which delivers mental health services as an outreach model of care that can be accessed at a clinic, in an individual’s own home or over the phone. 

“The health landscape has changed dramatically over the past year and we are committed to supporting our customers and adapting our products through the uncertainty of COVID-19 and into the future,” said Ms Amos.

How Bupa supported Australians’ mental health in 2020

  • The Bupa Health Foundation recently donated more than $2 million in funding to projects supporting the mental health of young Australians. This has helped grow the My Circle digital platform, where young people can connect anonymously with their peers for online group counselling, and expand the Kids Helpline@School program to reach more primary schools across Australia.
  • Provided male customers in Victoria free access to an online wellbeing hub, in partnership with Australian mental health solution provider Mindstar and digital innovator Go1, to assist them in the face of the growing mental health challenges triggered by the social and financial impacts of the state’s Stage 4 restrictions.
  • Expanded cover to include claims for psychology and counselling delivered through telehealth (phone or Internet).
  • Expanded Mind Care Choices out-of-hospital mental health program to Queensland customers
  • Provided customers with access to Australia’s leading home fitness, wellness and nutrition program, 28 by Sam Wood, for three months at no cost.

[1] The one-off $200 increase to mental health Extras limit is valid until 31 December 2021.

Media reference number: 20/114