What is Bupa?
Founded in 1947, the British United Provident Association formed when 17 British provident associations joined together to provide healthcare for the general public.
These days, it provides a range of private healthcare products, including health insurance (with family, business and global options available), dental care, travel insurance, care homes and a variety of health information (like calculators and blogs) on its site.
What kind of health insurance does Bupa offer?
Bupa offers two types of health insurance:
- Comprehensive – diagnosis and treatment. This is the highest level of health insurance cover on offer from Bupa. It offers private diagnosis, treatment and aftercare for all eligible medical needs.
- Treatment and care – treatment only. This cover option is for people who are happy to be diagnosed by the NHS but would like to receive treatment privately.
What’s included in Bupa’s health insurance?
Have a look at the table below to compare the cover on offer from Bupa health insurance.
Treatment and Care
|Pre-treatment out-patient consultations|
|Pre-treatment out-patient diagnostic tests|
|Pre-treatment MRI, CT and PET scans|
|Mental health cover|
|Post treatment diagnostic tests|
|Post treatment out-patient consultations|
|Post treatment scans|
|NHS cash benefit|
|NHS cancer cash benefit|
What isn’t covered?
The following elements are excluded from both cover options:
- Chronic conditions
- Emergency treatment
- Maternity care
- Pre-existing or special conditions
- Natural ageing
- Allergies and allergic disorders
What is the claims process?
You can call Bupa directly for advice and treatment, usually without the need for a GP referral, if your symptoms fall under one of the following three categories:
- Cancer symptoms
- Muscle, joint or bone
- Mental health
For everything else, you need to see your GP and get a referral, then call Bupa to discuss treatment.
When you call Bupa to make a claim, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your Bupa membership number
- The symptoms you’re suffering from
- Details of when your symptoms first began
- Details of when you first consulted your GP about your symptoms
- Details of the treatment your GP has recommended
If your claim relates to an incident or accident for which you’re also making a personal injury claim with a third party, Bupa’s third-party claims team will need to ask you questions about the incident and make arrangements to claim back the treatment cost from the insurance companies involved.
How do I contact Bupa?
You can call Bupa on 0808 252 5197. Lines open Monday to Friday 8.00am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 12:30pm.
You can also contact Bupa using the contact form on its website (this option is listed as “Email us” on the site).
Bupa health insurance customer reviews
Online customer reviews are for Bupa as a company, and not specifically its health insurance products.
On Trustpilot, Bupa has 4.4 out of 5 stars and a rating of “Excellent”, based on more than 7,000 reviews.
Customers praise the ease and speed of setting up appointments and the friendly and professional service, but a few complain of price hikes and difficulties in getting treatment.
Pros and cons of Bupa health insurance
- Cancer care included as standard
- Two cover options to choose from
- Live GP video consultations through the Babylon app
- Extensive network of participating hospitals
- No cover for allergies
- Limited online account management
Health insurance can certainly make being seen by a doctor or specialist easier and faster. If you’re worried about future health conditions and want to make sure you are protected, it can be worth the expense.
However, note that health conditions you already have before taking out a policy won’t be included in the cover, and emergency treatment and maternity care will also likely be excluded.
For everything else, Bupa provides a couple of good cover options, so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs and pocket.