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Bupa double charges some health insurance customers


If you're with Bupa and direct debit your premiums, be sure to check your bank account.

A direct debit fault led to 50,000 Bupa customers who pay using their credit cards being double charged for their health insurance premiums last week. Bupa has apologised for the error, which occurred on 4 June, saying all affected customers should have been contacted and had their premiums refunded by 11 June 2019.

While the error should have been rectified yesterday, it's worth opening your banking app, checking online or popping into a branch to make sure the errant charge has been reversed.

Paying for health insurance with a credit card

While paying for your private health insurance premiums using a direct debit to your credit card may be convenient, you should always check if your card provider classifies paying for health insurance as a purchase or as a cash advance. If your card provider does class premiums as a cash advance, you might want to look at direct debiting the payment from your savings accounts to avoid high cash advance rates.

If you do direct debit your health insurance premiums, you may also want to see how your current policy stacks up with one from a health fund that offers discounts to members that direct debit. While you're at it, you could double down and look for one that also offers annual payment discounts.

FundDirect debit discountAnnual payment discount
Australian Unityn/a
  • Annual: 4%
  • Biannual: 2%
CUA Health4%
Doctors' Healthn/a
  • Annual: 2.5%
  • Annual: 4%
  • Biannual: 2%
  • Annual: 4%
  • Biannual: 2%
Mildura Health2.5%n/a
Navy Healthn/a
  • Annual: 4%
  • Biannual: 2%
  • 2.5% (debit cards)
  • 1.5% (credit cards)

With the end of financial year also comes the deadline for those who turned 31 in the last year to take out hospital cover or be subjected to the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading, many health funds are running promotions trying to win your business with the promise of deals on health cover.

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