Your questions answered

At the top of this page, you’ll find answers to general questions about our products and services during COVID-19. Lower down, you’ll find links to questions specific to travel, dental and health insurance and cash plans, as well as our care homes and health centres.

  • Do I have COVID-19 now? – We offer a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 testing kit to use at home for both consumers and corporate clients. The kit contains a nasal/throat swab plus instructions, and can tell you if you’re currently affected with COVID-19. You’ll receive your kit within 36 hours of ordering, and get your results back within 48 hours of your swab arriving at the lab.*

  • Asymptomatic screening for COVID-19.
    We offer asymptomatic screening for COVID-19 (testing for the presence of COVID-19 in those without symptoms) using lateral flow tests. These cannot be purchased as one-off tests but are designed to be used as part of an asymptomatic corporate screening programme

  • Have I already had COVID-19? – At selected health centres, we offer a COVID-19 rapid antibody test which can tell you if you have detectable antibodies to the coronavirus. If you do, it would suggest you’ve previously been infected with it. The test cannot confirm when you had it, or how long any antibodies may last.

So whether you’re an individual or a business, and whether you’re a Bupa customer or not, please call us to find out what COVID-19 tests we’re currently offering.

Bupa cannot be held responsible for delays with Royal Mail deliveries.

Our existing private health insurance and cash plan policies don’t cover the cost of tests to tell you if you’re infected with the coronavirus now or may have been in the past.

However, we will fund a COVID-19 test where it’s needed as part of pre-operative/pre-treatment assessment for anything covered by your policy. So if you’re about to have treatment, please speak to your consultant. If the hospital requires you to have a COVID-19 test in advance of your treatment, they’ll arrange this directly with you.

The information on testing is changing rapidly. We continue to monitor developments and will update our advice as quickly as we can.

We offer a range of options for our corporate customers, and there are further options in development to enable us to offer you even more choice, convenience and flexibility. For example, we can make our PCR COVID-19 home testing kits (which test for current infection) available to all businesses with five employees or more.

We offer asymptomatic screening for COVID-19 (testing for the presence of COVID-19 in those without symptoms) using lateral flow tests. These cannot be purchased as one-off tests but are designed to be used as part of a screening programme, to support return to work safely.

We also offer COVID-19 rapid antibody tests which could tell an individual within 15 minutes if they have detectable antibodies. A positive result from the COVID-19 rapid antibody test would suggest, but cannot confirm, that an individual may have been infected in the past. It also cannot tell them how long those antibodies may last or whether they offer any immunity.

Please contact us for the latest information on your options.

When there’s a pandemic (like COVID-19) in the UK, the NHS and the national public health agencies co-ordinate all cases and manage all resources. It’s very important that it’s done this way, so that the government can continuously monitor, assess and manage the situation. This means private hospitals don’t treat COVID-19 patients unless asked to do so under the NHS.

However, to ensure that we’re supporting our customers who are being treated for COVID-19 within the NHS, we’ll pay a cash benefit (if included in your policy). We’ll also cover treatment for mental health conditions relating to COVID-19. And we’re giving our customers fast access to expert advice and support through our Digital GP service (Provided by Babylon), Bupa Anytime HealthLine and Family Mental HealthLine.

Multiple coronavirus vaccines are now being licensed for use in the UK, and the government is rolling out a vaccination programme to a range of groups of people, in priority order.

At this time, the national focus is on ensuring that the coronavirus vaccine is provided first to those who are most in need. That’s why, currently, vaccination is only being done by the NHS. We’re working closely with our suppliers, so when the time is right we plan to offer the vaccine to our corporate customers – just as we do already with the flu vaccine.

We’ve been working hard to review the services we offer and the way we offer them, both to implement (or exceed) the government’s safety measures, and to add extra services to support our customers. Across our care homes, clinics, dental practices, hospitals and more, we’re doing all we can to keep you and our own people safe.

For example, for our cash plan customers and those with dental cover, we’ve put in place enhanced PPE in our dental practices, and we won’t charge for it (within policy limits) until at least the end of 2021.

We also offer ways to talk to, or be assessed by, Bupa nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, consultants, counsellors and dentists by phone or video call. We offer both antibody and antigen tests for COVID-19 (with some restrictions). For businesses, we offer a range of ways to help you get your people back to work safely. And we’ve waived some of the usual pandemic exclusions in our travel insurance.

The coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause a range of illnesses, of which COVID-19 is just one. Other coronaviruses include the common cold as well as more severe conditions such as pneumonia, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). COVID-19 was initially named ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ because it had not previously been identified.

The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) include:

  • a new, continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change to, your senses of smell and taste

The NHS has more information about COVID-19 symptoms.

There are a number of practical measures you can take to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The NHS has more information about stopping the spread of COVID-19.

If you think you have symptoms, or you’ve had a positive COVID-19 test, you must follow the latest government advice.

For the latest advice on symptoms, treatments and self-isolation, follow the latest NHS guidelines. Here’s information for people who are particularly vulnerable.

Questions about specific products and services during COVID-19?

Expert advice and tips from our
COVID-19 articles and videos

To help support you through this time of uncertainty, we've created a series of short webinars you can watch anytime. Delivered by Bupa experts, they'll help you adjust to your new office - through practical tips and advice on a variety of topics that making staying at home easier.

Bupa health insurance, dental insurance, cash plan and travel insurance are provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No.3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851.