Bupa keeps premium increase below claims growth


Health insurer Bupa today announced that members’ premiums will increase by an average of 3.26 per cent from 1 April 2020.

This increase is below the increase in claims paid on behalf of members with Bupa absorbing some of that cost.

Bupa Health Insurance Managing Director, Dr Dwayne Crombie, said delivering value for money to customers remained a priority, with a continued focus on addressing affordability of premiums and reducing members out-of-pocket costs when needing care.

“We’ve tried to achieve a delicate balance between affordability for members and the higher than CPI growth in healthcare costs,” Dr Crombie said.

“Healthcare costs are increasing faster than other segments due to rising demand for treatment from an ageing population and more chronic illness, on top of the traditional inflationary costs such as wages.

“We’ve again absorbed some of those costs on behalf of members, recognising the hip pocket pressures Australians are facing.

“We remain committed to delivering value for our members; we pay hundreds of millions of dollars more on average in benefits than our main competitors and our customers have the lowest out-of-pocket costs for medical services as a result.

“While I’m supportive of seeing further health insurance reforms by the Federal Government, I also know that we need to continue to deliver innovative models of care which improve the lives of our customers and help contain claims growths.

“Last financial year alone we delivered hospital substitution programs such as rehabilitation, mental health and chemotherapy services in the home to more than 6,000 members. This provision of services at home not only helped deliver a more positive patient experience with the same clinical outcomes, but also had savings of more than $6m. Greater flexibility to fund additional services such as these will only continue to deliver greater value and choice of setting to members.

“Customers can also have increased confidence we use their money responsibly, with the lowest management expenses ratio of all insurers. We also captured more than $50m in savings this past year through improved operational efficiency which helped keep the premium increase below the actual claims growth,” Dr Crombie said.

The premium increase will come in to effect on 1 April 2020. Bupa members will be contacted from February with their individual premium changes, which can vary depending on type of cover and what state they are in. Customers are encouraged to undertake a cover review to ensure they are receiving the appropriate cover for their stage of life and healthcare needs.