Questions about health insurance? Just ask


Can I use health insurance abroad?

Bupa Bayou Health Insurance is a UK only product.

If you work or live abroad,

then you can look at our Bupa global suite of products.

If you are going on holiday, then you should look at travel insurance.

What is comprehensive cover?

Comprehensive cover is our highest level of cover.

One of the main differences is the outpatient limit. It's got full outpatients,

which means things like consultations, diagnostic tests,

your x-rays, your blood tests, your M R I scans, for example,

would be paid in full physiotherapies covered as well,

as well as mental health outpatient therapies,

and that is kind of the main difference.

The only thing to bear in mind is if you have an excess, the excess would apply.

Does health insurance cover dental treatment?

No health insurance doesn't cover dental treatment.

Bupa does have dental insurance policies,

and you can find out more on the dental insurance policies either on our website

or given us a call.

Does health insurance cover cancer?

Yes it does. Bupa has its cancer promise.

If you have cancer cover included on your policy,

we will cover you for as long as you have cancer. From diagnosis,

right through to treatment.

Can I change my cover once I have signed up?

You have 21 days from when you receive your paperwork to change your cover.

You can change your cover at your renewal, but you can cancel anytime.

Will I have access to private GP's?

Yes, you will have access to private gps.

You can access the private GPS via our digital GP app.

You are able to speak to GPS over video or on the telephone.

You can access them night and day and 24 hours a day

and it's unlimited appointments.

If you do want to see a GP face-to-face, you're able

to use our pay as you go service.

This isn't included in your policy,

but full details can be found on our B website.

Can each person on my policy have different options of cover?

Yes, different family members on the policy can have different levels of cover.

So if you, as a parent wanted one level of cover, say for example,

to have full outpatient cover and you wanted your child to have limited

outpatient cover, that's absolutely fine.

Are there different levels of cover?

There are different levels of cover.

You can change the hospital lists because we've got lots of different hospitals

through the uk. You can add and remove cancer cover,

you can change your outpatient limits.

There's different options to suit different budgets.

You can give us a call to talk through these options or find the options on our


What is a platinum consultant?

A platinum consultant is covered on all of our healthcare policies,

including open referral.

They rated good or excellent by the majority of Bupa patients.

They are assured, which means there'll be no shortfalls.

There'll be no extra costs for you unless you have an excess. Of course,

they also are, you can find them on our consultant and facilities finder.

That's finder dot Bupa co uk,

and on their facilities finder and consultant Finder,

you'll see a banner indicating that they're rather a platinum consultant.

Where can I find out more about a hospital, or someone treating me?

Bupa has a consultant and facilities finder.

You can find this on our website.

The address is finder dot Bupa dot

On the consultant facilities finder, you can put in your postcode,

you can find consultants and hospitals.

You can even go in and read more details about the hospitals and consultants

that can after you. For example, I saw a physio recently. I play a lot of golf.

I had a golf injury, and I wanted to find a physio that treated golf injuries,

and I was able to do this using the consultant and facilities finder.

What does fee assured mean?

Fear Assured means that the consultant work within our agreed

limits, so there'll be no shortfalls or hidden costs for you.

If you do have an excess, this may apply.

You can find Fear Assured Consultants on our Bupa Consultant and Facilities

Finder. That's finder dot Bupa dot co uk,

and within the finder,

there'll be a banner indicating that they're fear assured.

Does health insurance cover mental health?

Yes, Bupa has one of the most extensive mental health covers in the market,

and we're really,

really proud of it as mental wellbeing is as important as physical wellbeing.

We cover ongoing mental health conditions so long as the mental health condition

started After the policy starts,

we have an array of support and advice available.

One of the health lines that are available is the family mental health line

where you can call up and speak to a speciality trained nurse about a child's

mental wellbeing and get some advice and support,

and the child doesn't have to be covered on the policy.

Who are you?

Hello, my name's Ed Reed. I've been at Bupa for 16 years.

Come and ask me about health insurance, what you're covered for,

and any other questions you might have.

Can I cover my children as well?

Yes, you can add a child up to the age of 21 or

24 in full-time education.

There is a discount sometimes for adding them to your policy.

You can also cover your child independently on their own policy

if you are the parent or guardian.

Will the cost go up every year?

Yes, it's likely the cost will go up each year.

There's a few reasons for that.

The first reason would be age. So as you get older,

you are more likely to make claims, your risk goes up.

Another factor would be medical inflation.

So that is the advancement in technology of drugs and

treatments. And then another factor would be claims.

Claims can affect the cost of your policy.

At each renewal,

you have the option to review the cover and look at cost options,

and you can give our friendly team a call who can take you through those


How much does health insurance cost?

That's a really good question and one we get asked a lot.

It depends on a few factors. One of the factors is your age,

so as you get older, you're more likely to make claims.

Also, your lifestyle can affect the price.

How many people you have on your policy, the policy makeup.

So whether you have a comprehensive policy or your excesses,

there's various different options that you can pick to adjust the price.

The best thing you can do is you can go on our website or you can give us a call

and speak to our friendly team who can go through all the options with you.

What's the difference between health insurance and the NHS?

Everybody has access to the N H s.

You would keep your N H Ss GP and in an accident and emergency situation,

again, you'd use the N H Ss.

Where it's really different is the access or speed of access to

consultations, your treatment, your diagnosis, and your care.

It's also convenient in the sense that you can pick your own appointments around

your schedule, and that's a really big factor.

Does health insurance cover physiotherapy?

Yes, it does cover physiotherapy.

You have the ability to speak directly to a physio through our digital

GP app by speaking to a physio.

It could be quicker than getting referral via your gp, the physiotherapists.

We'd be able to go through different treatment options with you.

It might be that they'll be able to give you a self-management

referral, basically, so you can manage the condition at home,

or they may refer you into physical therapy or physiotherapy sessions.

Once you've been referred, then the outpatient limit does apply,

so that would depend on how many sessions you get. But there are, as I say,

options there to have the physiotherapy sessions available to you.

Does health insurance cover A&E?

No health insurance doesn't cover a and e.

It's because there isn't facilities in private hospitals.

If you have an accident in emergency situation,

then you need to call 9 9 9 or use the one service.

If you following an accident in emergency situation,

there may be times that the private medical insurance will be able to help you

in a follow-up situation.

Can I use my cover straight away?

You can use your cover straight away.

You can speak to a nurse on the Anytime Healthline.

You can also speak to a GP on the digital GP app.

If you do need to make a claim straight away,

we may need a medical report from your gp.

And health insurance is designed to cover new conditions after the policy


How can I get a quote, does this take long?

You can get a quote online. That's the quickest way to get a quote.

If you know what it is you want,

you don't need to talk through any of the options. You've done your research.

Then you can get a quote online and you can actually buy online as well. If,

however, you do have questions and you want to run through your medical history,

and you've got questions maybe about some of the options that are available at

hospital lists and excesses, et cetera,

you're able to give our friendly team a call and they'll be able to talk you

through everything.

What does health insurance cover and what cant it cover?

Health insurance covers any new conditions that started after the policy

starts. For any conditions that started before the policy starts,

they wouldn't be covered.

There are also general exclusions that apply to all of our policies,

and a few examples of the general exclusions are pregnancy, cosmetic surgery,

and chronic conditions.

And a chronic condition is a condition and that can't be cured,

and that would just be maintained. Two examples are asthma and diabetes.

You would typically use the N H S A full list of our general exclusions can be

found on our website.

How does health insurance work?

So health insurance works. It starts off if you have a problem, an ailment,

you would need a GP referral and you can either get a GP referral via your N H

S gp or you can use our digital GP app. Once you have a referral,

you would give us a call and speak to one of our friendly advisors who would

talk you through everything from your policy limits,

if you have an excess who and where to pay your excess.

And we can also help you find a consultant to see.

Once you have the consultant you need to see, you'd give them a call,

book your appointment. At the point that you've called us,

we'd give you an authorization number so we would pay bills directly.

Once you have seen the consultant,

you could then give us a call for any further treatment, but it's really,

really easy.

You just need to give us a call once you've got that referral and we will talk

you through everything to help you.

What's the difference between the three hospital networks?

The main difference is the amount of hospitals in each network,

so you've got the smallest, then the medium, then the largest,

which includes the Central London hospitals.

The best way to find out about the hospitals is to go on a consultant and

facilities finder at Finder Bupa dot co uk.

Type in your post code and have a look at the local hospitals nearest to you.

If you are happy to or want to have hospitals outside of your local area,

then it may be best to look at the higher levels of hospital cover.

What is treatment and care, and what does it cover?

Treatment in care is a policy option that is more cost

effective than our full comprehensive cover. It will cover,

you have access to the digital gp, so you could use that to get a referral.

The main difference is that consultations and diagnostic tests of the

diagnosis side would be covered via the N H Ss.

Once you've been diagnosed with a condition and you need treatment and care,

you would use the policy to cover an operation In a private hospital,

you have a full therapies limit.

So we've covered physiotherapy or mental health therapies,

and once you've had your operation,

we would cover any follow-up consultations within six months of that treatment

and care.

Can I cancel at any time and will I be charged to do so?

Yes, you can cancel at any time. If you are thinking about canceling,

please give us a call.

Can I speak to someone if I'm worried about my health?

Yes, we have nurses that you can access

through our Anytime Healthline.

We also have GPS pharmacists, physios

that you can access via our digital GP app.

You can access these healthcare specialists 24 hours a day,

seven days a week.

What is PMI/health insurance?

Health insurance or private medical insurance,

often referred to as P M I is an insurance product that can cover

the cost of private treatment, anything from physiotherapy,

the smaller things to the larger things like cancer and everything in between.

And you can pay monthly or annually.

And health insurance is there for any new conditions that arise after the policy

has started.

What does out-patient cover mean?

Outpatient cover is well means when you don't occupy a bed in a

hospital, so you're not a day case or an inpatient.

Outpatient can consist of consultations, physiotherapy,

or mental health therapies.

You have different outpatient limits that you able to choose from.

You can cap the outpatient limit. You can have full outpatient,

or you can exclude it altogether and use the N H Ss for your diagnosis.

When you call us up to pre authorize your claim,

we can talk you through the limits that are available because if you are capping

your outpatient limit,

please bear in mind that that may only cover a few consultations.

When/ how do I pay my excess?

We will let you know who and when to pay your access to when you speak to us.

Please don't pay a provider unless we tell you to do so.

Do I pay an excess for using services like Anytime Healthline or Digital GP?

No, you don't pay an excess for using the digital GP or using the Anytime

Healthline. If you do need to pay an excess,

then we will let you know when to pay the excess and who to pay the excess to.

Can I change my excess part way through the year?

You can't change your excess partway through the year.

You do have the ability to change your excess 21 days after receiving your


You also have the ability to change your excess at your policy renewal,

and you can find details of your excess on your policy documents.

What is an excess and how does it work?

An excess can make your policy more affordable.

There are a range of different excesses to choose from.

You don't have to have an excess in the policy. The higher the excess,

the lower the monthly subscriptions are.

The good thing about the excess is it's once per person, per policy year,

not for every single claim that you make.

It's not like car insurance excess where you pay it on every single claim.

It is just that once per person, per policy year.

What is a no claims discount and how does it work?

No claims discount affects the price at renewal,

so depending on the size of the claim,

a small claim wouldn't affect the no claims discount as much as a large claim

would. Everyone on the policy has their own no claims discount,

and there are some services that don't affect the no claims discount,

such as the anytime Healthline to speak to a nurse or the digital GP

to speak to a GP or pharmacist.

Those services wouldn't affect the no claims discount.

Can I pay extra to have a pre-existing condition covered?

You can't pay extra to have a preexisting condition covered as part of the

cover. You do have access to a nurse or a digital gp,

and if you've got any questions about what is and what isn't covered,

you can give us a call.

What is full medical underwriting?

Full medical underwriting means we'll ask you some questions about your health

before you join to help you understand what is and what isn't covered.

What is moratorium underwriting and how does it work?

Moratorium underwriting means we won't go through any health questions when you

join. However, when you do need to make a claim,

we will ask you some health questions at the point of claim,

and if we need further information from your gp,

you will need to get this permission for the GP to send us in any medical

reports. There may be a cost to this associated.

It's quicker to buy the policy,

but may slow things down ever so slightly when claiming.

Will my claim take longer if I have moratorium underwriting?

Sometimes yes, as every time you make a claim,

we may need to reach out to your doctor,

but please note your Dr. May charge for this.

What is a pre-existing condition?

Preexisting condition is a symptom or a medical condition that you

had prior to joining us. To give you an example,

if I've got a mobile phone and I crack the screen and I don't have insurance for

it, and I try to get insurance,

that insurance wouldn't cover the crack screen As part of the cover,

you can speak to a nurse or a GP about preexisting


If you have any questions about any preexisting conditions or to find

out what is or what isn't covered, please give us a call.

Who do you need health insurance for?

Choose the right cover for you

We have two health insurance policies to choose from. You can choose either Comprehensive health insurance, or Treatment and Care health insurance.

Check our comparison table to see what is and isn’t covered on each policy.

Compare health insurance


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Need more advice?

Check out our guides for tips, advice and information. You can also read about health topics, such as looking after yourself as a parent and taking care of your children’s health.

The cost of your health insurance depends on several factors including:

  • Your age,
  • Where you live,
  • Whether you smoke,
  • The type of policy you choose.

Your health insurance policy is unique to you and the cost will also depend on the level of cover you want. For example, you can choose the level of excess you want to pay. You can also choose how much allowance you will have for some types of treatments or appointments.

Learn more about the cost of health insurance

Before you take out health insurance, it’s important to understand how it works. Health insurance covers you for conditions that start after your policy has begun.

You will usually pay a monthly fee. Then you can make claims for any private healthcare you receive if it is covered by your policy.

One of the main benefits of private healthcare is that you’ll often get access to treatment faster than on the NHS. Health insurance may also be able to get you access to new drugs or specialist treatments.

Learn more about how health insurance works

Most health insurance covers you if you need to stay in a private hospital for the day or overnight. Some policies will also cover out-patient treatment. This is where you don’t stay in hospital for the day or overnight. You might have scans, tests, or hospital appointments as an out-patient.

Bupa covers more mental health conditions than any other UK insurer. Many of our policies offer a digital GP service. And many of our customers can get Direct Access to specialists. This means they can call us about some symptoms as soon as they are worried, before they speak to a GP.

The best policies are clear about their exclusions. Most don’t cover emergency treatment, maternity care or cosmetic surgery. Policies usually don’t cover treatment for ongoing conditions like arthritis or asthma. They also don’t cover conditions that you had before your cover began.

What’s covered in a typical health insurance policy

Your health insurance policy will begin from the moment you’ve chosen your policy and set up your Direct Debit. Once you’re set up. we’ll send you your cover documents. Here you’ll find details of what is and isn’t covered. All our policies are different, so it’s important to check yours thoroughly.

An excess is the amount you’ll have to pay towards treatment when you make a claim.

The excess you choose can have a big impact on the cost of your health cover. So, it’s important to understand how it works.

If you choose to have a higher excess, your policy could be cheaper. But, if you do choose a higher excess, you’ll have to contribute more when you make a claim.

With our health cover, your excess is payable just once per policy year.

For example, imagine your excess is £250. If you made a claim for £500 in the first month of your policy year, you would pay £250 towards this. We would pay the remaining £250. After this, you wouldn’t need to pay excess again until you started a new policy year.

Not every private health insurance policy will have the same kind of excess, so it’s important to consider all the excess options available. Both of our health insurance policies, Treatment and Care and Comprehensive offer flexible excess options. You can choose £0, £100, £150, £200, £250 or £500.

Learn more about health insurance excess

There are a few ways to lower the cost of your health insurance cover. It’s important to remember that a cheaper plan might not provide all the cover you need.

You could choose a higher excess to reduce the monthly cost of your health insurance. However, this would mean that you would have to pay more if you needed treatment. Some health insurance comes with savings if you’re a couple or if you insure your family.

Several factors influence the cost of your health insurance. Lifestyle choices, like smoking for example, may increase your monthly premium. So, if you choose to stop smoking, it’s important to tell us, as this may reduce the cost of your cover.

How to lower the cost of health insurance

Health insurance is designed to cover conditions that develop after your cover has started. This means you wouldn’t be covered for conditions you had before your cover started. Insurers often call these pre-existing conditions.

You also wouldn’t be covered for issues that relate to your pre-existing conditions. Although in some circumstances your insurer may cover some symptoms. Always ask your insurer if you need help understanding what your policy covers.

When you take out health insurance with us, we’ll ask you about your medical history. We’ll then be able to confirm what your policy will and won’t cover. It's important to understand what won’t be covered on your policy.

Your policy also may not cover any ongoing or incurable conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis. Insurers often call these chronic conditions.

A chronic condition is a condition that:

  • Needs ongoing or long-term monitoring through consultations, examinations, check-ups and/or tests
  • Needs ongoing or long-term control or relief of symptoms
  • Has no known cure
  • Comes back or is likely to come back
  • Continues indefinitely
  • Requires your rehabilitation or for you to be specially trained to cope with it

Depending on your policy, you may be able to claim for chronic condition flare-ups. Always check with your insurer if you’re unsure whether you’re covered.

Learn more about health insurance exclusions

No – there isn’t an age limit for taking out health insurance cover. To be fair to everyone, age is one of the factors we use to calculate the cost of your policy.

The benefits of taking out health insurance when you get older are the same as with any age.

Whatever your age, if you are looking to take out health insurance, simply get a quote online.

It’s important to compare health insurance policies before you decide on the right one for you. You can choose between individual, couples or family health insurance.

The best health insurance providers will make it clear what’s available and what isn’t, to help you decide on the best policy. It’s important to look at exactly what’s covered, and what isn’t, before you take out health insurance.

You can compare health insurance planson our website, or you can call us on 0808 115 4494 to find out what we can offer you. Lines are open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

Yes – you can add your partner (providing you both live at the same address) or dependents onto your policy at any time.

The cost of your couple’s health insurance or family health insurance will depend on several factors. These include where you live, your ages, your health and how much excess you choose to pay.

If you’d like to add someone onto your Bupa health insurance policy, call us on 0808 115 3157. Lines are open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday.

As of March 2024, this comparison to other products in the market is based on Bupa’s and Defaqto’s interpretation of the differences between Bupa’s Bupa By You, SME Select and Corporate Select health insurance products and other health insurance products offering mental health cover. The comparison excludes any special offers or promotions which may temporarily alter the cover offered. Cover comparison information is for personal use and guidance only and does not constitute any contractual representation, warranty or obligation by either Bupa or Defaqto about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability of the comparison. Neither party accepts any liability for errors, omissions, direct or consequential loss in relation to this comparison.

See PDF How we compare: Individuals (PDF 1MB)

Bupa health insurance is 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. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London, EC2R 7HJ.

Page last reviewed: 22/06/23

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