Bupa: Supporting our customers in hard times


There’s a lot of misinformation about health insurance around at the moment, so here’s something simple to help you separate the facts from the fiction.

The Facts:

Bupa froze premiums for all customers for six months, saving them around $134m.

Premium increases have been deferred for a further six months for all customers receiving Job Keeper and Job Seeker support.

Bupa is providing $50m in hardship support available to ALL customers who are suffering financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

36,000 Bupa customers have benefitted to date from premium waivers, premium discounts, policy suspensions and unemployment cover.

ALL Bupa customers (with hospital policies) are automatically covered for lung and chest conditions, including those arising from COVID-19 related claims.

Bupa was the first insurer to give customers more ways to access healthcare through telehealth (phone or Internet), including psychology, physiotherapy and speech therapy.

Bupa has significantly boosted mental health care support through online and community based mental health programs.

We have donated $1.375m to Kids Helpline toprovide young people with access to free, quality mental health support.

All Bupa customers had access to Australia’s leading home fitness and nutrition program, 28 by Sam Wood, for three months at no cost.

All Bupa customers have access to a dedicated COVID-19 assistance and advice helpline.

The Fiction:

Bupa has made excess profits from COVID-19:
Overall health insurance profits are down 42% for the first half of 2020.

Premiums are increasing to boost bottom lines:
Health insurance premiums are increasing less than the rate of claims paid for customers.

Bupa has failed customers during COVID-19:
Bupa has provided more than $184m of support to customers impacted by COVID-19 and financial hardship.

Claims have decreased significantly due to COVID-19:
Despite the disruption of the pandemic, overall benefits paid for claims in 2019/20 were only 2.4% less than the previous year. Most claims are now running ahead of the same period last year.

Medical inflation and device costs are not a factor in driving premium increases:

Latest reports show premiums would be $141 cheaper if private prostheses costs were the same as the public system.

The public health system would be better off without private healthcare or insurance:

Nearly half (42%) of all hospital admissions in Australia are funded by private health insurance and about 60% of all elective surgeries. [AIHW 2019] This reduces waiting times and lowers demand for public hospital beds.

The pandemic has shown there is little reason for people to stick with their health insurance:

73% of people with health insurance believe it is essential and want to hold onto it. It provides peace of mind and access to services not provided in the public system or funded by Medicare, for example mental health care.