Bupa, the UK’s leading health insurer, announced on 18th March 2021 that its UK health insurance customers will receive £125 million following the temporary disruption to some medical treatments last year.
From the start of the pandemic Bupa moved quickly to support its customers. Treatment for critical conditions like cancer and heart disease continued throughout, though some treatments in independent hospitals were delayed as they supported the NHS. In recognition of this, Bupa pledged to pass back any exceptional financial benefit ultimately arising as a result of the impact of COVID-19 to its health insurance customers. From April 2021, eligible individual customers, and small and large business customers funding health insurance for their employees, are expected to receive a payment equivalent to approximately one month’s premium*.
This is part of the wider response package Bupa put in place to support customers, investing in a range of ‘at-home’ health services, including:
Access to GP care through mobile devices, 24/7 for all customers
Video and telephone access to Bupa recognised therapists and consultants
Fast-track diagnosis at home for skin and cardiac issues
Expanding chemotherapy at home for cancer patients
Mental health support, including support for carers through Bupa’s Family Mental Health Helpline.
During periods of lockdown, the use of Bupa’s Digital GP service giving 24/7 access to GPs more than doubled. Calls to Bupa’s Anytime HealthLine providing 24/7 access to nurse advice increased by 51%.
Alex Perry, CEO, Bupa UK Insurance said: “We are determined to do the right thing for our customers. From the start of the pandemic we invested heavily in providing new and additional healthcare services from home, such as our Digital GP service, to help people access the care they need.
“Thankfully many of the face-to-face services that were impacted were delayed rather than cancelled. More and more customers have been accessing health services as they resumed.
“We were the first major health insurer to commit to a customer rebate and are now acting on this pledge. As an organisation without shareholders our customers come first, and we continue to support them throughout these times.”
* For the vast majority of customers, payment is expected to be the equivalent of approximately one month’s premium. It may be more or less depending on the final outcome of the calculations and whether premiums were paid in full or for part of the time when private treatment was most disrupted.