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We’re here to support you access care and prepare for treatment

Independent/private hospitals are starting to offer more treatment for private patients, although a very small number will continue to provide NHS care only. Hospitals will need to catch up on all the treatment that was postponed at the start of the outbreak.

We’re here to support you if your treatment is still delayed, help you prepare for your treatment, and access care quickly as the healthcare system returns to normal. We’ve created a dedicated page to provide you with the latest information on how we continue to support you.


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Don’t put your healthcare on hold. We’re here to support you

We’re all in this together, and with most of us having to stay at home you may be worried about accessing healthcare during these uncertain times. Our customers have access to a full range of remote services now and everyday, available 24/7 - without needing to leave your home. Below are some of the ways we continue to support you and your family during this time.

Our pledge to UK health insurance customers during this national crisis

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



Answers to your questions about health insurance

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

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 Helpline. 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.

If you were due to have a consultation then you can let your consultant know that we’ll cover phone and video consultations if that makes it easier. We guarantee to cover the cost of eligible treatment (as per existing policy terms) once you’re able to have it so long as you continue your policy, so there’s no need to worry about your pre-authorisation.

Additionally Our well-established Specialist Patient Support clinical team and dedicated adviser can provide you with personalised support to help you stay in the best health possible for when your treatment is ready to progress.

We are committed to facing this journey with you and we’ll help you access care quickly and effectively as the healthcare system returns to normal.

If you experience a change in the symptoms or physical signs associated with your condition that causes you concern, please contact your consultant via their medical secretary. This is important as some changes to your health might indicate that you require further clinical assessment, investigation and/or urgent treatment. Your consultant may have advised you of any such clinical features or changes to report.

You can access our support services if your treatment has been delayed as well as find out which treatments are continuing and remote options available.

Find out more

We can pre-authorise your appointment. If your care is delayed, we guarantee to cover the cost of your treatment once you’re able to have it so long as you continue your policy.

You can let your consultant know that we’ll cover phone and video consultations if that makes it easier. You can access our support services if your appointment or treatment has been delayed as well as find out which treatments are continuing and remote options available.

Find out more

We guarantee to cover the cost of your treatment once you’re able to have it, so long as you continue your policy there’s no need to worry about your pre-authorisation. If you’re still seeing the same consultant at the same hospital you won’t need a new pre-authorisation number so long as you continue your policy.

Please speak to your hospital, clinic or consultant as they’ll be best placed to advise you. You can let your consultant know that we will be covering them for phone and video consultations if that makes it easier. We guarantee to cover the cost of your treatment once you’re able to have it so long as you continue your policy, there’s no need to worry about your pre-authorisation.

We guarantee to cover the cost of your treatment once you’re able to have it so long as you continue your policy, there’s no need to worry about your pre-authorisation.

For concerns over cancer, mental health and muscles, bones and joints you can use our Direct Access service. For other concerns, you can use the Babylon digital GP service.To download the app go to www.bupa.co.uk/digital-gp

Please speak to your hospital, clinic or consultant as they’ll be best placed to advise you. You can let your consultant know that we will be covering them for phone and video consultations if that makes it easier. We guarantee to cover the cost of your treatment once you’re able to have it so long as you continue your policy, there’s no need to worry about your pre-authorisation.

Additionally our well-established Specialist Patient Support clinical team and dedicated advisers can provide you with personalised support to help you stay in the best health possible for when your treatment is ready to progress. You may also find our other support services helpful until you can get an appointment: Speak to a GP from home for further advice and support through our digital GP services in partnership with Babylon.

Our expert physiotherapists can offer you home exercises to help you manage muscle, joint and bone conditions.

Bupa Mental health practitioners can support you, including offering online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and remote consultations with therapists and consultants.

If you experience a change in the symptoms or physical signs associated with your condition that causes you concern, please contact your consultant via their medical secretary. This is important as some changes to your health might indicate that you require further clinical assessment, investigation and/or urgent treatment. Your consultant may have advised you of any such clinical features or changes to report.

If you have the name of consultant you have been referred to you will need to contact Bupa. We will check eligibility and we can pre-authorise your appointment for your new consultant.

You can let your new consultant know that we’ll cover phone and video consultations if that makes it easier. In the meantime, if you are waiting to see a new consultant, you may wish to look up resources about the condition that the referring consultant believes needs addressing by a different specialist on the Bupa health site. Find out more

Additionally you may find our other support services helpful until you can get an appointment. Find out more

Your GP can also help support you whilst you are waiting for your next consultant appointment

We know this will be a stressful time for people and that isolation may impact on overall mental wellbeing, as well as exacerbating underlying mental health conditions. We’ve seen an increase in requests for mental health support and are expanding our capacity – including remote consultations and on-line cognitive behavioural therapy. Customers can also use our Bupa’s Direct Access service, removing the need for a GP appointment. Our Family Mental Healthline is open for parents and carers to talk to us about their child’s emotional wellbeing. The online Bupa Mental Health resource hub has a wide range of support materials and is being regularly updated with relevant content.

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)
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

UK Government
Find out more about the UK Government response from Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England
https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

NHS England
Read NHS information about how coronavirus is spread and how to avoid catching or spreading germs.
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

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.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Get advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

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

Calls may be recorded and to maintain the quality of our Bupa Anytime HealthLine service a nursing manager may monitor some calls always respecting the confidentiality of the call.

^Telephone support between 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday via a dedicated helpline. Calls may be recorded and to maintain the quality of our Family Mental HealthLine service.

^^Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 12:30pm. We may record or monitor our calls.

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 through the Direct Access service. Always call us first to check your eligibility.

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.

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.

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