Bupa health insurance review

How Bupa health insurance stacks up for complaints, cover and value for money

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Bupa Health Insurance

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Bupa health insurance has been around in Australia since 2002 and has over 4 million members. It offers 6 hospital policies, 7 extras options and a number of combined covers.

Our Verdict

  1. Bupa's plus policies give you more for your money. Unlike some other providers, the basic policy covers you for joint reconstructions, lung and chest, and miscarriage and termination of pregnancy.
  2. Bupa is popular. It's the second largest health insurer by market share in Australia, just behind Medibank.
  3. Between 1 October and 31 December 2020, Bupa had the second-highest percentage of complaints among all health insurers (keep in mind that they have the second largest market share in Australia).

Review by our insurance writer Gary Hunter

What Bupa Health Insurance options are available?

Bupa offers a wide range of health insurance products including Hospital, Extras and Combined cover, Ambulance only cover and Corporate cover. Within each of these coverage types there are a range of different products on offer - use the drop downs below to learn more.

Bupa Hospital cover

Bupa hospital cover policies now reflect the new government private health insurance tiers. It offers the following hospital cover options:

  • Basic Accident Only Hospital. This covers you for things like operating theatre, intensive care and ward fees. It also comes with a feature called Accident Inclusion. If you have an accident, Bupa will cover you in a private hospital for treatments that are excluded or restricted on your cover.
  • Basic Plus Starter Hospital. As well as Accident Inclusion, this one comes with services such as tonsils, adenoids and grommets, joint reconstructions and dental surgery.
  • Bronze Plus Simple Hospital. This covers psychiatry, rehab and palliative care on a restricted basis, plus full cover for a handful of important treatments like cancer treatments, dental surgery, brain surgery, tonsil removal and hernia repair.
  • Silver Plus Essential Hospital. This covers you for 30 of the 38 clinical categories, a few more than the minimum requirement for silver, which is 27.
  • Silver Plus Advanced Hospital. This covers you with most services (except pregnancy) and includes special features such as Best Doctor second opinion service.
  • Gold Complete Hospital. This includes all 38 government-approved treatments you'd receive in a hospital including pregnancy, assisted reproductive services and weight loss surgery.

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

Bupa Extras cover

Here are each of the extras plans offered by Bupa, with a quick summary of what each includes.

  • Orange 50. With Orange 50, you'll get 50% back at any provider for services including general dental, physio, chiro and osteo, up to your yearly limits. You'll also get a flexi-limit, which allows you to spread your annual limit across a range of services or use the entire limit on one service.
  • Budget Extras 60. This covers your basic treatments like general dental, optical and a range of therapies like physio and chiro but it also includes treatments you usually find in higher level policies like antenatal and postnatal treatments, exercise physiology and pharmacy. It also includes emergency ambulance cover. Bupa reimburses you 60% toward most covered treatments.
  • Orange 60. This extras policy gives you 60% back at any provider for services like general dental, physio, chiro and osteo, up to your yearly limits. It also comes with a flexi-limit, so you can spread your annual limit across a range of services or use the entire limit on one service.
  • Your Choice Extras 60. This provides the same 60% reimbursement rate as Budget Extras 60 and includes all the same treatments plus a few more. With this policy, you'll also get major dental, orthodontics, speech therapy, podiatry and more. However, your major dental and orthodontics benefits don't kick in until your second year of cover.
  • Top Extras 60. With the same reimbursements rate and all the same treatments as the previous two policies, Top Extras 60 adds quite a few more treatments to the mix, including psychology, dietary counselling, home nursing, health aids/appliances and travel/accommodation expenses if you have to travel far for hospital treatment (you'd have to have a Bupa hospital policy to take advantage of this benefit).
  • Top Extras 75. This is the same cover as the Top Extras 60 policy, but with a 75% reimbursement rate instead of 60%. It also has higher benefit limits on many treatments.
  • Top Extras 90. This is the same as the other two top extras policies, but with a 90% reimbursement rate and higher benefit limits on most treatments.

The table below compares each Bupa extras plan in detail, including which procedures are covered by each plan.

  • Bupa packaged cover

    You can combine any of the standalone hospital policies with any of the extras policies to create your own customised packaged cover. Or you can choose one of Bupa's unique packages that combine hospital and extras cover that you can't buy individually. These are:

    • Basic Plus Active Saver. This package is for someone who wants the bare minimum of both hospital and extras cover. The hospital portion covers a handful of very basic treatments like tonsil removal, joint reconstruction, dental surgery plus restricted cover for psychiatry, rehab and palliative care. Extras is very similar to Budget Extras 60, but with lower benefit limits.
    • Basic Plus Young Singles/Couples Saver. With this package, the hospital portion covers basic treatments like minor gynaecological surgery, miscarriage and termination of pregnancy, and tonsils, adenoids and grommets. Your extras cover will give you 60% back on most treatments, with cover for major dental, orthodontics, podiatry and travel vaccines.
    • Bronze Plus Young Singles/Couples Choice. The hospital portion of this cover includes everything necessary for it to be classed as bronze, plus 9 other benefits like sleep studies, dental surgery, blood and lung and chest cover. Extras is very similar to the Your Choice Extras 60, but with higher benefit limits and the ability to claim on major dental and orthodontics during your first year of cover. However, you can't claim on orthodontics for purely cosmetic reasons. It must be the result of an accident.
    • Silver Plus Prime. This gives you top cover that's tailored to life's later years. It doesn't come with pregnancy so you'll save money not having to pay for this service. As well as everything you get with a silver policy, you'll also get insulin pumps, pain management with device, sleep studies, joint replacements and a generous range of extras services.
    • Gold Ultimate Health Cover. The hospital portion of this includes all 38 clinical categories, meaning you're covered for everything. It also includes up to 100% back at Members First providers and the highest benefit limits on all extras services.

    Ambulance cover

    • Emergency Only Ambulance Cover. Insures you for the cost of emergency road and air ambulance transport Australia wide.
    • Premium Ambulance Cover. Provides an additional $5,000 benefit for non-emergency road and air ambulance trips.

    Where is my closest Bupa Centre?

    CentreNameAddress 1Address 2OpenClose
    BupaBelconnenShop 161, Level 3Westfields Belconnen, Benjamin Way9:00am Mon-Sat5 Pm - Mon - Friday,1 Pm - Sat
    BupaWoden PlazaShop G73/75, Westfield Woden2 Keltie St9:00am Mon-Fri5 Pm - Mon-Fri
    CentreNameAddress 1Address 2OpenClose
    BupaAlburyShop 3, 481 Dean Street9:00am Mon-Fri4 Pm - Mon-Fri
    BupaBankstownShop T250 Centro Bankstown9:00am Mon-Fri, Sat - 10:00 am5 Pm - Mon - Friday,2 Pm - Sat
    BupaBarangaroo, SydneyT3.04 300 Barangaroo Ave9:00am Mon-Fri5 Pm - Mon - Friday
    BupaBlacktownShop 3006, Patrick Street levelWestpoint Blacktown, 17 Patrick St9:00am Mon-Fri, 10:00am Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Fri, 2:00 pm Sat
    BupaBondi JunctionShop 5, 2 Grosvenor Street9:00am Mon-Fri5:00 pm Mon-Fri
    BupaBurwoodShop 326, Westfield Burwood100 Burwood Rd9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaCabramattaKiosk A, Dutton Lane9:00am Mon-Fri, Sat - 10:00 am5 Pm - Mon - Friday, Sat - 2:00 Pm
    BupaCastle HillShop 375 Castle Towers Shopping Centre6-14 Castle Street9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaChatswoodShop 1, 318 - 320 Victoria Avenue9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaCoffs HarbourShop 28, Park Beach Plaza253 Pacific Highway9:00am - Mon-Fri5:00 pm - Mon - Fri
    BupaHornsbyShop 1073, Westfield HornsbyCnr Florence and Hunter St9:00am Mon-Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Fri, 2:00 pm Sat
    BupaHurstvilleShop 228, Lower LevelWestfield Hurstville, Cnr Cross St & Park Rd9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaKotaraShop 1063, Westfield KotaraCorner Park Avenue & Northcott Drive9:00am Mon-Fri5 Pm - Mon-Fri
    BupaLismore89 Keen Street(Inside Blooms the Chemist)9:30am - Mon-Fri2:30 pm - Mon - Fri
    BupaLiverpoolShop 157Westfield Liverpool, Macquarie Street9:00am Mon-Sat5 Pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaMacquarieShop 49Macquarie Shopping Centre, Cnr Herring & Waterloo Rd9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaMirandaShop 1083, Westfield Miranda600 Kingsway9:00am Mon-Sat5 Pm - Mon - Friday, Sat - 1:00 Pm
    BupaParramattaShop 5010 (Level 5)Westfield Parramatta, 159-175 Church St9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaPenrithShop 107, Westfield Penrith585 High St9:00am Mon-Fri, Sat - 10:00 am5 Pm - Mon - Friday, Sat - 2:00 Pm
    BupaSYDNEY CBD - George St317 George Street9:00am Mon-Fri5 Pm - Mon - Friday
    BupaTamworthShop T5Tamworth City Plaza, 436 Peel St9:00am Mon-Fri5 Pm - Mon - Friday
    BupaWagga Wagga151 Baylis St9:00am Mon-Fri5 Pm - Mon - Friday
    BupaWorld SquareShop 9.28B, World Square Shopping Centre644 George St10:00am Mon-Sat6:00 Mon - Fri, 2:00 Pm Sat
    CentreNameAddress 1Address 2OpenClose
    BupaCasuarinaShop GD 011 Casuarina Square247 Trower Road9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    CentreNameAddress 1Address 2OpenClose
    BupaBrisbane CBD91 Adelaide St9:00am Mon-Fri, Sat - 10:00 am5 Pm - Mon - Fri, 2:00 pm Sat
    BupaBroadbeachShop 1542 Pacific Fair Shopping CentreHooker Boulevard9:00am Mon-Sat5 Pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaCairnsShop 38 Cairns Central Shopping Centre1-21 McLeod St9:00am Mon-Sat5 Pm - Mon - Friday,1 Pm - Sat
    BupaCarindaleShop 1023, Westfield Carindale1151 Creek Rd9:00am Mon-Sat5 Pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaChermsideShop 219Westfield Chermside, Cnr Gympie & Hamilton Rds9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaCoomeraWestfield Coomera Shopping Centre, Shop 1046Foxwell Road Coomera9:00am Mon- Fri5:00 pm - Mon - Fri
    BupaGarden CityShop 1019, Westfield Garden CityCnr Logan & Kessels Rd9:00am Mon-Sat5:00 pm Mon-Sat
    BupaIndooroopillyShop 1030 Indooroopilly Shoppingtown322 Moggill Road9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaMackayCnr Victoria Street and Mangrove Road322 Moggill Road9:00am Mon-Fri5 Pm - Mon - Fri
    BupaMaroochydoreShop L01 301, Sunshine PlazaHorton Pde9:00am Mon-Fri, Sat - 10:00 am5 Pm - Mon - Friday,2 Pm - Sat
    BupaRockhamptonShop E08, Stockland, RockhamptonYamba Road and Bruce Highway9:00am Mon-Fri5 Pm - Mon - Fri/td>
    BupaSunnybankShop 141358 Mains Road9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaToowoombaShop 20A, Grand Central Shopping CentreCnr Margaret and Dent Street9:00am Mon-Fri5 Pm - Mon - Fri
    BupaTownsvilleShop 250 Stockland310-330 Ross River Rd9:00am Mon-Sat5 Pm - Mon - Friday,1 Pm - Sat
    CentreNameAddress 1Address 2OpenClose
    BupaAdelaide Rundle Mall103 Rundle MallCorner to Regent Arcade9:00 am Mon-Fri, 10am Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Fri, 3:00pm Sat
    BupaBurnsideShop 7&8 Burnside Village447 Portrush Road9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaElizabethS135, Elizabeth Shopping Centre50 Elizabeth Way9:00am Mon-Fri, 10am Sat5 Pm Mon-Fri, 3:00pm Sat
    BupaMarionShop 2011, Westfield Marion297 Diagonal Rd9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaModburyShop 34 (Level 1), Westfield Tea Tree Plaza976 North East Road9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaMount GambierFC001 Gambier Central Shopping Centre21 Helen St9:00am Mon-Sat5 Pm - Mon - Friday,1 Pm - Sat
    BupaWest LakesShop 221, Westfield West Lakes111 West Lakes Boulevard9:00am Mon-Fri, 10am Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Fri, 3pm Sat
    CentreNameAddress 1Address 2OpenClose
    BupaHobartShop FF09 Cat & Fiddle Arcade51 Murray Street9:00am Mon-Fri, Sat - 10:00 am5 Pm - Mon - Fri ,3 Pm - Sat
    BupaLaunceston110 Charles Street9:00am Mon-Fri, Sat - 10:00 am5 Pm - Mon - Fri, 3 Pm - Sat
    BupaRosny (Eastlands)Shop G34Eastlands Shopping Centre, Bligh Street9:00am Mon- Fri, Sat - 10:00 am5:00 pm - Mon-Fri, 3 Pm - Sat

    BupaNorthlandShop J003, Northland Shopping Centre2-50 Murray Rd9:00am Mon-Fri, 10:00am Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Fri, 3:00pm Sat- Mon-Fri, 2:00pm Sat

    CentreNameAddress 1Address 2OpenClose
    BupaBallaratShop 077, Stockland WendoureeCnr Norman and Gillies Streets9:00am Mon-Fri, 10:00am Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Fri, 3:00pm Sat
    BupaBendigoShop G.23Bendigo Marketplace Shopping Centre9:00am Mon-Fri, 10:00 am Sat5:00 pm Mon-Fri, 3:00 pm Sat
    BupaBox HillShop 27 Box Hill Central1 Main Street9:00am Mon-Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Sat
    BupaChadstoneShop B157, Chadstone Shopping Centre1341 Dandenong Road9:00am Mon-Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Sat
    BupaDoncasterShop G058 Westfield Doncaster619 Doncaster Rd9:00am Mon-Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Sat
    BupaFountain GateShop 2117, Westfield Fountain Gate25-55 Overland Drive9:00am Mon-Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Sat
    BupaGeelongShop 218Westfield Geelong, Malop Street9:00am Mon- Fri, Sat - 10:005:00 pm - Mon - Fri, Sat - 3:00 pm
    BupaGlen WaverleyShop 1.32Centro The Glen, 235 Springvale Rd9:00am Mon-Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Sat
    BupaHighpointShop 2550, Level 2 Highpoint Shopping Centre200 Rosamond Rd9:00am Mon-Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Sat
    BupaMelbourne CBD247 Collins Street9:00am Mon-Fri5:00 pm - Mon-Fri
    BupaRingwoodShop 1158 Eastland Shopping Centre175 Maroondah Hwy9:00am Mon-Fri, 10:00am Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Fri, 3:00pm Sat
    BupaSwanston Street - Chinatown Melbourne195 Swanston Street9:00am Mon- Fri, 10am Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Fri, 3pm Sat
    BupaSouthlandShop 3022, Westfield Southland1239 Nepean Hwy9:00am Mon-Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Sat
    BupaWerribeeShop 111, Pacific WerribeeCorner Derrimut & Heaths Rd9:00am Mon-Fri, 10:00am Sat5:00 pm - Mon-Fri, 3:00pm Sat
    CentreNameAddress 1Address 2OpenClose
    BupaCanningtonShop 1176, Westfield Carousel1382 Albany Hwy9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaCockburnShop G-020A, Cockburn Gateway Shopping Centre816 Beeliar Drive, Success9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon, 1:00pm - Sat
    BupaJoondalupShop T012, Lakeside Joondalup Shopping Centre420 Joondalup Dr9:00am Mon-Fri, Sat - 9:30 am5 Pm - Mon - Fri , 1:30 Pm - Sat
    BupaMorleyShop 104, Galleria Shopping CentreCnr Collier & Walter Roads9:00am Mon- Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Sat
    BupaPerth CBDShop 1255 Murray Street Mall9:00am Mon- Fri, 10:00 am Sat5:00 pm - Mon - Fri, 3:00 pm Sat

    Frequently asked questions about Bupa health insurance

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    18 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      JahneMay 9, 2017

      I am a teacher of yoga teachers (Director The Australasian Yoga institute Established 1976) and an accredited Senior Teacher with Yoga Australia. I believe my clients are able to claim rebates from your fund by quoting my membership number etc. How can my Institute become an Accredited Institute with you so that my graduated/registered students can provide rebates for their clients through you, as we do at the moment through registering through Yoga Australia?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        ZubairMay 10, 2017Staff

        Hi Jahne,

        Thank you for your inquiry.

        You have contacted finder.com.au, a comparison and information service and not actually Bupa Health Insurance. You will need to contact Bupa Health Insurance directly about this matter.

        Cheers,
        Zubair

      Default Gravatar
      LorraineMarch 29, 2017

      I am. Carer for my grandchildren I am looking for an affordable extras cover for myself I did not expect to be a single parent at my age

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        ZubairMarch 30, 2017Staff

        Hi Lorraine,

        Thank you for your question.

        You have contacted finder.com.au, a comparison and information service and not Bupa.

        If you would like to compare policies from Australian health funds including Bupa Health Fund, please enter your details into quote comparison tool.

        Cheers,
        Zubair

      Default Gravatar
      JohnFebruary 8, 2017

      will BUPA pay for standard of care items for patients who are receiving innovative therapies in a clinical trial environment

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        RichardFebruary 9, 2017Staff

        Hi John,

        Thanks for getting in touch. You will need to contact Bupa directly about this matter as the exact cover would depend on the treatment and your policy.

        Cheers,
        Richard

      Default Gravatar
      VesnaJanuary 19, 2017

      Does Bupa hospital cover, cover the cost or help with the cost of aged care ie nursing home or in home care for the elderly
      Thank you

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        RichardJanuary 24, 2017Staff

        Hi Vesna,

        Thanks for getting in touch. Depending on your policy, Bupa may provide limited cover for services such as in-home physiotherapy, respite care and nursing care. Restrictions apply, mostly only for orthopedic. You should contact Bupa directly about the specifics of your policy.

        All the best,
        Richard

      Default Gravatar
      MaryNovember 21, 2016

      Does BUPA offer extra government rebates for seniors as some health funds do?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        RichardNovember 21, 2016Staff

        Hi Mary,

        Thanks for getting in touch. Bupa does not have any additional government rebates. You may find our seniors health insurance article helpful.

        All the best,
        Richard

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