Bupa Hospital Health Cover

With Bupa Hospital Cover, you can choose from 3 levels of cover and tailor your policy further with a range of benefits. Learn more reasons why Bupa could be the right choice for you.

Bupa is a giant in healthcare, both in Australia and overseas. This means you can access a wide range of benefits, such as a nation-wide network of affiliated providers and private hospitals as well as other forms of insurance, overseas healthcare and more.

Bupa offers affordable health cover for singles, couples and families alike. They offer a range of benefits, but there are some limitations to their cover.

finder.com.au does not currently have access to this health insurance brand. You may wish to compare options available on the health insurance homepage.

What hospital plans does Bupa have?

Bupa has three levels of cover available:

  • Budget. A low premium plan that lets you get the important benefits without paying too much.
  • Standard. Balanced cover for most inpatient hospital treatments, but minimum benefits on some of the procedures that a younger person is likely to need.
  • Top. Comprehensive hospital cover, giving you the advantages of private hospital access as needed, no excess for kids, cover for a wide range of procedures and a valuable range of extras.

Benefits available with each plan

  • yes - Covered
  • partial - Minimum shared-room price covered at private and public hospitals. May leave you with out-of-pocket expenses, but lets you choose your doctor and lets you access private healthcare at more affordable rates.
BudgetStandardTop
Hospital accommodation costs
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Operating theatre, intensive care and ward fees
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Bupa Medical Gap Scheme
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Surgically implanted prostheses
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Accident cover
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Knee arthroscopy or meniscectomy
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Appendicitis
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Tonsil and adenoid removal
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Dental surgery
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Minor gynaecological surgery
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Psychiatric services
  • partial
  • yes
  • yes
Rehabilitation
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Pregnancy (childbirth)
  • partial
  • yes
  • yes
Assisted reproductive services
  • partial
  • partial
  • yes
Cardiac and related
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Renal dialysis
  • partial
  • partial
  • yes
Cataract and eye lens procedures
  • partial
  • partial
  • yes
Hip and knee replacement
  • partial
  • partial
  • yes
All other joint replacement
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Gastric banding and obesity related
  • partial
  • yes
  • yes
Abdominoplasty and lipectomy
  • partial
  • yes
  • yes
All inpatient Medicare procedures
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes

Additional benefits

The benefitWhat it doesBudgetStandardTop
Emergency ambulanceCovers the costs of ambulance calls that result in hospitalisation
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes
Family/partner accommodation$60 a night for accommodation and $30 a day for meals when family needs to stay in hospital with you
  • no
  • no
  • yes
Health subscription refunds50% refund for subscriptions to the Arthritis Foundation, Asthma Foundation and Diabetes Australia
  • no
  • no
  • yes
Unemployment coverFrom the second month of retrenchment or involuntary unemployment, your premiums are covered for up to 12 months at your current level of cover*
  • no
  • no
  • yes
Varying excess optionsChoose your own excess to raise or lower your premiums
  • yes
  • yes
  • yes

*With couples or family health plans, only the main income earner is eligible for unemployment cover benefits. To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You have been with the same company for 6 months prior to unemployment.
  • You are not a contactor or self-employed.
  • You have held your health cover for 12 months.
  • You can provide proof of unemployment.

What are the costs?

The cost of your policy will depend on your chosen excess, your level of cover, the rebates you may be entitled to and a range of other factors. Naturally, singles or couples cover will cost more.


What are the limitations, exclusions and waiting periods?

It’s important to note that Bupa plans do not cover the following procedures:

  • Surgical podiatry
  • Cosmetic procedures that are not medically necessary
  • Respite care
  • Experimental treatments
  • Certain high-cost non-PBS drugs
  • Any treatment or procedure not approved by the Medical Services Advisory Committee.

In addition, you will not have cover for the following:

  • Outpatient treatments
  • Expenses above the minimum benefit at private hospitals for procedures that are only minimally covered by your plan
  • Hospital co-payments
  • Psychiatric and day programs at non-Bupa partner hospitals
  • Treatments provided by unregistered providers
  • Personal in-hospital expenses like pay TV, newspapers and similar
  • Any services or treatments provided outside of Australia
  • Any pharmacy items purchased and not opened before leaving hospital

Waiting periods

  • 12 months. Pre-existing conditions, pregnancy and childbirth
  • 2 months. Everything else as well as psychiatric treatments for pre-existing conditions, palliative care and rehabilitation

These waiting periods may also apply when you increase your cover level. For example, if you’re on a budget plan, then you would need to upgrade to a higher level at least 12 months in advance to have cover for a private hospital birth.

Inpatient vs outpatient expenses

The plan does not cover outpatient treatments. That includes treatments received only in a hospital emergency department.

You only become an inpatient when you are admitted to hospital instead of simply receiving treatments in a hospital. For example, if you go to a hospital specifically for x-rays or a blood test, then you would still most likely be an outpatient and not covered under these plans.

Other expenses

When admitted to a non-agreement hospital, you are only covered up to the minimum benefits and the Medicare Benefits Schedule limits.

When you go to a public hospital as a private patient, you are only covered for the minimum shared-room accommodation benefit, but higher level plans might pay additional sums to help defray the cost of a private room.

Whether you go to a public or private hospital, Medicare will cover you for 75% of the MBS fee for any eligible treatments covered under Medicare, while Bupa can pay the remaining 25%.

Before getting treatments, you can check whether a practitioner participates in the Bupa no gap scheme and whether they’re no gap or known gap.

  • Participating no gap doctors. These practitioners have limited costs and will bill Bupa directly, leaving you with no treatment costs.
  • Participating known gap doctors. These practitioners charge more than the specified amount. You will have some out-of-pocket expenses, up to a maximum of $500.
  • Non-participating doctors. Medicare will cover 75% of the MBS amount, Bupa will pay 25% of it and you will need to pay any additional amount above the MBS amount.

Andrew Munro

Andrew writes for finder.com.au, comparing products, writing guides, sniffing out deals and looking for new ways to help people get the most out of their money.

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