Meet our members: Viviane


Viviane has been with Bupa for almost 50 years. Here’s her story.

We sat down with one of our longest standing members, Viviane, who’s been with Bupa for an amazing 48 years, to talk about how she lives a healthy and happy life. Viviane was one of the first Bupa customers to receive her new ‘blue card’ recognising her 25+ year loyalty to Bupa.

How long have you been a Bupa member for?

Back in 1973, my mum was looking for a family health insurance membership, so we joined what was HBA at the time.

When I turned 60, I thought to myself that I don’t really need insurance anymore as my health was fine, however one of Bupa’s staff members, Inez, talked me through what my private health insurance would cover in the case that my health did change and helped me figure out what cover would best suit me.

I’m extremely grateful she did because, three years later I did need it as I needed to have had two heart operations, one in February 2017 and another in July 2017.

Tell us about what happened when you found out you needed heart surgery?

I have suffered from heart palpations for a long time and a few years ago I noticed it was getting worse and worse, to the point it was happening every morning before I left for work.

In 2017 I had to call the ambulance and I ended up in hospital. The doctor said that the condition I was in could lead to a stroke or heart attack any minute and that I needed major heart surgery.

Before the surgery I thought ‘let’s investigate how much this all costs’. From what I could tell, it would have cost me around $8,000 and I thought “how lucky am I that I stayed with Bupa”.

I paid nothing, as I had top plus cover (as it was called at the time), Bupa covered everything and it meant I didn’t have to stress about it before the surgery – I was able to just say to the surgeon, “let’s do it”. At what was already a stressful time, having one less thing to worry about was a relief. 

What’s your advice for people considering whether health cover is worth it?

I’ve already been a Bupa member for 48 years and will probably make it to 70-years! Honestly, when you look at the price, it’s not that expensive a month – because when you need to have a knee replacement, operation on your eyes, ears or whatever it may be, you will end up paying much more. Plus the team at Bupa always makes me feel like so welcome – much more than just a number.

I think everyone should have private health insurance, it’s like having car or home insurance – you hope to never use it, but if you do need, at least you are covered. When I talk to my friends and family about health insurance, I always tell them, “if you can afford for example cigarettes or alcohol then you can afford health insurance”.

What do you do to lead a healthier and happier life?

I love to get out and about and I’m excited now since the surgery and post-COVID, that I will be going whale watching in Warrnambool with a friend later this year – something I’ve always wanted to do.

I have also started changing my diet by going plant-based. By changing this I feel so much healthier – I know it’s improving my life.