The 10 procedures that cost Bupa $1.1 billion in 2018

Posted: 25 June 2019 5:25 am News

Nurse looking at patient's knee

Knee and hip replacements top the list of most claimed items.

Health insurance giant Bupa paid out almost half a billion dollars combined for both knee and hip replacements in 2018, according to claims data released by the health fund.

These were just two of many claims including eye, back and cardiac procedures that can be chalked up to the aging population. However, Bupa's managing direct Dr Dwayne Crombie says that a lot of these issues are more than just age and that our waistlines play a major role.

"These are all very good and very useful procedures. They are helping us live longer lives and have better quality of life. But many of these operations are symptomatic of people getting older and more of the population being overweight or obese," Dr Crombie said in a statement.

You can see the top 10 highest claimed benefits in 2018 for Bupa below.

Specialty Category Benefits paid by Bupa
Orthopaedics Knee replacement $223,280,361.92
Orthopaedics Hip replacement $197,328,352.20
Ophthalmology Lens Procedures $154,293,710.93
Obstetrics Caesarean Delivery $125,728,500.33
Orthopaedics Spinal Fusion $92,230,311.70
General Surgery Major Procedures for Obesity $75,691,096.00
Cardiology Interventional Coronary Procedures W/Stent $74,239,887.76
Cardiothoracic Cardiac valve procedure without invasive investigation $71,886,993.48
Cardiology Cardiac Pacemaker Implantation $58,262,539.73
General Surgery Major Small & Large Bowel Procedures $58,188,678.33

According to Dr Crombie, more needs to be done to keep the cost of prostheses down as their price has a direct impact on the rising costs of private health insurance in Australia.

"This includes continuing to look at why prosthetics for hips and knees cost significantly more in Australia than other parts of the world. It means changing the mindset that a person must stay in hospital for rehabilitation after a knee or hip replacement where all the evidence says the outcome is the same or better if done in their home," Dr Crombie said.


If you think that you're paying too much for your health insurance, June is the perfect time for you to compare your options. With so many Aussies either taking out cover for the first time or looking to switch, health funds are rolling out the red carpet with an array of sign-up deals and offers.

Compare your health insurance options today

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