Bupa pledges rebate to customers as part of COVID-19 response

03 April 2020 . United Kingdom

Today, Bupa UK Insurance CEO Alex Perry announced that Bupa will pass on any exceptional financial benefit ultimately arising from COVID-19 to its UK health insurance customers.

As UK hospitals and staff – including Bupa’s own healthcare professionals – rightly focus on the nation’s fight against COVID-19 it is clear that the independent health sector will be disrupted. Urgent care, such as cancer treatment, will continue, but non-urgent hospitals procedures are being postponed.

Most treatments which are deferred will be delivered and funded as soon as possible later on. However, Bupa expects there will be an overall reduction.

Alex Perry CEO Bupa UK Insurance commented: “As an organisation without any shareholders our customers come first. At this point, no one can predict the full impact of this national crisis and we do not have all the answers yet.  But we want to reassure our customers that we will do the right thing for them, and that any exceptional financial benefit ultimately arising from COVID-19 will be passed back to our health insurance customers. This will be by rebate or other appropriate means."

Bupa is writing to its customers to make this commitment.  It will commission a third-party review to ensure that what it does is fair and reasonable across its different customer groups.

Bupa has also expanded its range of health support services and resources that customers can access from home to support them through the COVID-19 crisis. Services include telephone and video consultations with nurses, GPs and consultants, as well as specialist help for physiotherapy and mental health, right through to chemotherapy at home for cancer patients.  It has already seen calls to its AnyTime HealthLine more than double.

The Digital GP service that Bupa provides in partnership with Babylon is also being made available to all insurance customers with a new COVID care assistant feature.  

A dedicated Bupa COVID-19 online hub has also been developed to provide regular updates and health advice to help customers manage both their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Notes to editor

Bupa UK Insurance health and support services include:

  • See a GP from home: access to expert advice through our digital GP services, in partnership with Babylon.

  • Talk to a nurse 24/7: customers can call our Anytime HealthLine for general health and wellbeing advice. Lines are open and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Check with a consultant: telephone and video consultations with a ‘Bupa-recognised’ consultant. (Note: Some consultants are not yet set up for video, but all are available by phone).

  • Talk to a physiotherapist: Bupa-recognised physiotherapists are on hand, via telephone or video consultations.

  • Support for mental health and wellbeing: Customers with mental health cover in their policies now have the option of consultations with Bupa-recognised therapists over the phone or video, plus on-line cognitive behavioural therapy. Parents and carers of children can also call our Family Mental HealthLine where our trained advisers and mental health nurses can offer support. They’re available between 8am until 6pm, Monday to Friday. The Direct Access team can refer a customer to a specialist, often without needing to see a GP first for more information and advice visit our online mental health hub

  • Chemotherapy at home for cancer patients Chemotherapy at home for cancer patients - We have offered these services for several years and are working with homecare providers to expand capacity to support more customers at this time.

  • Customers who are hospitalised in the UK with COVID-19: As a public health emergency, COVID-19 is being treated through the UK public health system. If a customer needs to receive NHS treatment for COVID-19, they will be able to claim a cash benefit where this is included in their policy.

About Bupa

Bupa's purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives and making a better world.

We are an international healthcare company serving over 31 million customers worldwide. With no shareholders, our customers are our focus. We reinvest profits into providing more and better healthcare for the benefit of current and future customers.

Health insurance accounts for 17.9m customers and contributes 72% of our revenue. In health provision, we operate clinics, dental centres and hospitals in some markets serving another 13.6m customers. We also care for around 20,000 residents in our aged care businesses in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Spain.

We directly employ around 84,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Chile, Poland, New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, the US, Middle East and Ireland. We also have associate businesses in Saudi Arabia and India.

For more information, visit www.bupa.com.