Customers turn to tech for health care


Bupa customers are embracing technology with telehealth appointments on the rise and more than 180,000 digital membership cards added to Apple Wallets in the past month.

Since Bupa introduced telehealth claims in March 2020, demand has remained steady with claims dipping slightly over the summer months and increasing to more than 2,000 per month in July and August 2021.

Chris Carroll, Bupa Health Insurance Retail Director, said the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital advances with customers increasingly looking for convenience and simplicity in their health care.

“What we’re seeing is our customers becoming increasingly comfortable with technology in their everyday life, and now looking at how they can apply that to their health care experience.

“Telehealth was fast tracked out of necessity at the beginning of the pandemic, and there have been spikes in usage as the states move in and out of lockdowns. But our claims data also shows there is an underlying demand for the service regardless of whether physical appointments are available or not,” Mr Carroll said.

“We’ve also seen record uptake of our new digital membership cards which allow customers to claim by tapping their phone, huge growth in our MyBupa app and an increasing move towards customers contacting us via messaging services like Whatsapp.”

Recognising that customers are increasingly moving towards digital interactions, Bupa has recently started contacting customers with real time SMS updates when waiting on a claim outcome and is looking to continue building improved functionality into the MyBupa app.

Mr Carroll said despite the growing demand for online services, Bupa was still committed to providing in-person options for customers.

“While we’ve been investing in technology and digitalisation for some time now, there is no doubt that COVID-19 has accelerated the customer appetite to interact online. However, we know there are still many customers who prefer to talk with Bupa in person or on the phone, so we continue to have our teams available in our contact centres and in our stores when they are able to open,” Mr Carroll said.

Bupa customers with a compatible device can download their digital membership card here.

Technology by the numbers:

  • More than 180,000 Bupa customers have added a digital membership card to their Apple Wallet since they became available just over a month ago.
  • MyBupa app views grew by 376 per cent since the launch of digital cards.
  • More than 70,000 Bupa customers have registered a digital card preference, opting out of a plastic card entirely.
  • Bupa customers have claimed on more than 40,000 telehealth appointments since they became available in March 2020.
  • Telehealth demand has remained strong with more than 2,300 claims made in August 2021.
  • Psychology remains the most claimed telehealth service, accounting for more than 35 per cent of all claims, while physio accounts for just under a quarter of claims.