Waiting for treatment?
Helping you get ready

We have a range of services and health information to help support patients preparing for treatment and with their recovery. This includes advice from Bupa experts, across a number of clinical areas, providing helpful guidance and support whilst you wait for treatment.

If you need to contact us or make a claim, please use our customer enquiry form.

Read more

Customer enquiry form

Get treatment and care without seeing a GP

When you need help or treatment you can check with Bupa before you visit a GP. We can help you get the care you need.

We can help with:

  • • Cancer concerns
  • • Muscles, bones and joints
  • • Mental health
  • • Moles and skin lesions
  • • Other symptoms

Check with Bupa 

Speak to a nurse 24/7
with Anytime HealthLine

You can call a nurse or GP and get their professional advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Here are just some of the things you can speak to a nurse about:

  • • rashes, bumps and lumps
  • • surgery and back pain
  • • vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain
  • • fever, flu, cough and headache
  • • medication enquiries
  • • advice about unwell children

Learn more

COVID-19 Care Assistant

Helping you to spot what might be COVID-19 symptoms and suggest possible next steps.

Use the Symptom Checker and live chat feature to ask questions and get quick answers.

Help for your mental health from home

When it comes to mental health, we’re here to listen and help you get help fast.

We’re adding even more services

We are always developing new ways to look after our customers and in 2020 we have launched two new ways to access care, even more quickly than before.

I’ve got a referral. What next?

We’ve made some changes, so you can speak to a specialist without leaving your home.

Our pledge to UK health insurance customers during this national crisis

Portrait of Alex Perry 

On 3 April 2020, Bupa UK Insurance CEO Alex Perry announced a number of measures highlighting our pledge to supporting our health insurance customers.

Read full statement

Your stories

Here’s what our health insurance customers have been saying about our services during this difficult period.

Louise’s story

“Having a remote ECG was actually quite comforting. It cut out a lot of worry and travel, and I got the help I needed faster.”

Zahra’s story

“Within less than 24 hours of finding a lump, I’d had the tests done and was given the all clear.”

Eve’s Story

“It was a really great service. I didn’t have to see anybody, it was COVID safe, and within 24 hours I felt so much better”

Answers to your questions about health insurance

The latest answers to questions regarding COVID-19 and Bupa health insurance

If you were due to have a consultation, let your consultant know that we’ll also cover phone or video consultations, which may mean you can go ahead. You could also use our finder tool to locate a consultant who’s taking on new patients.

If you’ll still need to wait, our specialist patient support clinical team can provide personalised support to help you stay in the best possible health for when your treatment is ready to progress. Just call your usual Bupa phone number and ask for a call-back from a clinician. We’re committed to walking this journey alongside you, and we’ll help you to access care as rapidly as possible while the healthcare system returns to normal.

Our Preparing for treatment page offers information about remote services available to you at this time, and has advice for specific conditions.

If you notice a change in your symptoms and feel concerned, please contact your consultant via their medical secretary. This is important, because changes might indicate that you need more investigations and/or urgent treatment. Your consultant may have told you about anything to look out for.

We can still pre-authorise your treatment. Some hospitals are taking extra precautionary steps to keep patients safe, such as asking them to self-isolate before treatment and pre-admission testing. Please talk to your consultant about your procedure, as this may vary according to your region. It’s important to follow the guidance given by your consultant or hospital, otherwise your procedure could be postponed.

If your treatment is delayed, and you want to find out what’s available to you remotely in the meantime, visit our Preparing for treatment page.

If you’re still seeing the same consultant at the same hospital, you won’t need a new pre-authorisation number when you’re ready to go ahead, as long as your policy remains in place. But do talk to your consultant about how and when to rearrange your treatment and whether it would be advisable to defer.

We guarantee to cover the cost of your treatment once you’re able to go ahead with it, as long as your policy remains in place. There’s no need to go through pre-authorisation for a second time.

If your concern is about cancer, mental health, or muscles, bones and joints, you can use our Direct Access service. For other concerns, you can use Digital GP provided by Babylon to have a consultation by video call. You can download the app using that same link.

Please speak to your hospital, clinic or consultant, because they’ll be best placed to advise you. You can let your consultant know that we’ll cover you for phone and video consultations, if that makes it easier to get an appointment.

You may also find some of our other support services helpful until you can get an appointment:

  • Digital GP provided by Babylon lets you speak to a GP via live video chat
  • Our physiotherapists offer home exercise programmes to help you manage muscle, joint and bone conditions
  • If you’re struggling emotionally with the way the pandemic is affecting your access to treatment, and you have mental health cover, we can support you. This could be with online CBT and/or remote consultations with therapists and consultants, subject to policy.

Find out more on our Preparing for treatment page.

If you’re concerned about a change in your symptoms, please contact your consultant via their medical secretary. This is important, because you may need further tests and/or urgent treatment. Your consultant may have let you know what to look out for.

If you know the name of the consultant you’ve been referred to, you’ll need to contact Bupa. We’ll check your eligibility and, if appropriate, can pre-authorise your appointment for your new consultant. Do let your new consultant know that we’ll cover phone and video consultations, too, if that makes things easier.

In the meantime, you might like to find out more about the condition that your original consultant thinks you need a different specialist for. Start with our A to Z of conditions and treatments, or talk to your GP, or check out the range of Bupa services that could support you until you can get an appointment.

If you’re currently receiving treatment for cancer, we want to do everything we can to make things easier for you. That’s why, wherever possible, we’ll provide chemotherapy treatment in the comfort of your own home. This personal service is delivered by a specialist nurse. Please ask your consultant.

Treatment for complications or conditions related to COVID-19 may be covered if they meet our standard policy terms. For example, we’d cover you if the condition meets our definition of ‘acute’, and if the proposed treatment is both evidence-based and in line with best clinical practice. Long COVID is not yet a medically accepted condition, so we’ll consider each symptom or condition individually.

Private hospitals had previously had to suspend their non-urgent operations, but were able to restart in May 2020. The NHS may have to put private hospitals on notice again if local COVID-19 cases rise to the point where extra capacity is needed. This could potentially mean further delays to treatment, but we’ll do our best to keep you updated. If you’re experiencing delays, get the latest advice and access our remote support services.

We know this is a stressful time, especially if you’ve had to wait for treatment, or been isolating or shielding. It can all take its toll on your overall mental wellbeing, and could make existing mental health conditions feel worse. We’ve seen an increase in requests for mental health support, so we’re expanding our capacity. Here’s how we can help:

  • If you have mental health cover, we’ve added in remote mental health consultations and online cognitive behavioural therapy. Subject to policy.
  • You could also use our Direct Access service, which means you can get an appointment without having to see a GP first.
  • Our Family Mental Healthline is for parents and carers to talk to us about their child’s emotional wellbeing.
  • Our Mental Health Hub offers a wide range of support resources and is regularly updated and expanded.

Direct Access telephone services are available as long as the symptoms are covered under the policy. If your cover excludes conditions you had before your policy started, we’ll ask you to provide evidence from your GP that your symptoms are not pre-existing for a period of up to two years from policy start date (or five years in the case of mental health) before we can refer you to a consultant or therapist through the Direct Access service. For rolling moratorium underwritten members we will ask for evidence each time you claim for a condition not claimed for before. Always call us first to check your eligibility.

Public Health England, the EU and the US Food and Drug Administration have now given approval on the accuracy of at least two antibody tests to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, which can indicate that an individual has previously been infected with the virus and their body has mounted an immune response.

The World Health Organisation and the UK’s Chief Scientific Officer have however indicated that there is still no evidence that the presence of antibodies to the virus can give certainty to an individual that they will have immunity, how long this immunity will last, or if they will be able to catch it again in the future.

Whilst Bupa is therefore not currently endorsing the use of antibody tests as part of an organisation’s return to office strategy, we do appreciate that individuals may want to take an antibody test to understand whether they’ve had COVID-19 for their own personal health interest. We therefore want to make sure we are giving individuals access to approved tests they can trust. For this reason, Bupa Health Clinics (UK) will offer the antibody test in clinics to customers. This will allow an individual to establish whether they have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the past.

However, we must underline that under current health guidance the test will not provide any information on the individual’s immunity. The result should not be used to make any clinical or return to office decisions but will simply let the individual know whether they have previously been infected with the virus. Given the latest MHRA investigation into the validity of home testing for antibody status, Bupa does not currently advocate the use of this.

Bupa Health Clinics will also be offering an antigen (nasal and throat swab) testing service which detects active infection with SARS-CoV-2. This will be offered to business customers first and can be used as part of a screening regime for businesses, including temperature checks and return to work assessments, to allow the safe return of their employees to the workplace.

Our existing private health insurance policies don’t cover these tests to screen for, or diagnose a suspected case of, COVID-19. However, we will fund an antigen (nasal and throat swab) test where it is needed as part of pre-operative/pre-treatment assessment for treatment covered by the patient’s policy. We understand the information on testing is changing rapidly and we continue to monitor developments and update the latest advice we provide to our customers, as well as our own return to work strategy.

To ensure that we’re supporting our customers who are being treated for COVID-19, we will pay a Cash Benefit to our customers where this is included in their policy. When there’s a pandemic (like COVID-19) in the UK, the NHS and Public Health England coordinate all cases and manage all resources. It’s very important it’s done this way so that the Government can continuously monitor, assess and manage the situation. In addition, we’re covering treatment for mental health conditions relating to COVID-19. We’re giving our customers fast access to expert advice through our digital GP services, Anytime Healthline and Family Mental Healthline. We have written to all Bupa recognised consultants to let them know that they can offer their Bupa patients telephone and video consultations, where they are medically appropriate, to help patients avoid exposure to the virus.

Need to contact us, or make a claim?

We aim to do everything we can to make claiming as simple and straightforward as it can be. Please use the below link to access our customer enquiry form. If you’ve received hospital treatment for COVID-19, please use this form to submit your claim for COVID-19 cash benefit. If your policy covers this, we’ll pay you the benefit and if not, we’ll use your preferred method of contact to let you know.

The situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) is continuously changing. To ensure you have the latest information, advice and guidance explore these external links and resources.

World Health Organization
Read the latest updates from the World Health Organization (WHO)

UK Government
Find out more about the UK Government response from Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England

NHS England
Read NHS information about how coronavirus is spread and how to avoid catching or spreading germs.

Travel information
If you are looking for information on how the coronavirus outbreak may affect your travel plans, please follow the guidance of the Foreign and Commonwealth office.

Get advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.

For the latest situation reports, and a map of affected areas see the latest from the
World Health Organization.

Direct Access telephone services are available as long as the symptoms are covered under the policy. If your cover excludes conditions you had before your policy started, we’ll ask you to provide evidence from your GP that your symptoms are not pre-existing for a period of up to two years from policy start date (or five years in the case of mental health). We can then refer you to a consultant or therapist through the Direct Access service. Always call us first to check your eligibility.

^Lines are open 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am – 4pm Saturday. We may record or monitor our calls.

Bupa Anytime HealthLine, Family Mental HealthLine and Digital GP are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Anytime HealthLine is provided by Bupa Occupational Health Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 631336. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London, EC2R 7HJ. Anytime HealthLine is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Digital GP services are provided by Babylon Healthcare Services Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 09229684. Registered office: 60 Sloane Avenue, London SW3 3DD.

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.