Bupa Health Insurance


Bupa is a household name, synonymous with healthcare and health insurance, with over 31 million customers and around 83,000 employees across the globe. Bupa is a private company limited by guarantee, with no shareholders. Bupa reinvests all profits back into providing more and better healthcare for the benefit of current and future customers. Health insurance accounts for the majority of the business, but they also operate some clinics, dental centres and hospitals. Bupa’s origins and global headquarters are in the UK, in London.

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The History of Bupa

Bupa – originally called the Biritsh United Provident Association - was founded on 3 April 1947, with the founding purpose to ‘prevent, relieve and cure sickness and ill-health of every kind’. Prior to the initiation of Britain’s NHS in 1947, the Country’s health system functioned on a part voluntary and part state funded basis. At the core of this health system model was the creation of Provident clubs, which originated in the early 1920’s. The first of these clubs, the British Provident Association, was brought to the surface by eminent doctors and those who ran hospitals to help provide treatment for industrial workers and individuals on modest incomes in times of sickness.

The growth of the British Provident Association was immense and its success spurred the creation of the Oxford Provident Association. Then the Second World War threw the system into flux when an increased demand for a ‘free’ national health system, financed from general taxation, grew.

In 1945, legislation nationalised local authority and voluntary hospitals and free medical treatment was made available to all British residents. Nonetheless, it still preserved the voluntary system and allowed people to make arrangements for private treatment. This in turn led to the 1946 meeting of 89 organisations, including 32 provident associations. Following this meeting, in 1947, seventeen of the associations joined forces as a company limited by guarantee, and named themselves the British United Provident Association Limited, or Bupa as it is now commonly known.

Bupa Insurance Policy Review

Bupa offers two types of health insurance, comprehensive and treatment and care. Comprehensive health insurance covers both private diagnosis and treatment. Treatment and Care cover is for people who are happy to be diagnosed by the NHS but would like to receive treatment privately.


Bupa Key Benefits

Mental Health Bupa claim to cover more mental health conditions than any other leading UK insurer

Cancer Cover Access to breakthrough cancer drugs and treatment

24/7 Health Advice line Anytime Healthline with unlimited phone calls

24/7 Digital GP With Bupa Blua

Fast Track Service called Direct Access means you can call Bupa directly for advice and treatment for cancer, musculoskeletal and mental health symptoms. More on Digital GPs.

5-star rating

with independent rating firm Defaqto

(Bupa By You Comprehensive)

Best Customer Service Winner

Health Insurance & Protection Awards 2023


Best Wellbeing Provider

Health Insurance & Protection Awards 2023


Best Individual Health Insurance Provider

Health Insurance & Protection Awards 2023

Bupa Core Cover

Included as a base to your cover are the following benefits. Additional optional extras are available to enhance your policy to suit your individual requirements (these are listed below).

Benefit Details
In-patient treatment

Hospital charges, surgeons/anaesthetics/specialist consultants fees will all be paid in full. Up to 28 days a year of mental health treatment and all tests and scans such as MRIs, X-rays, PET scans and CT scans will be paid in full for Comprehensive. For Treatment & Care plans this will be limited to six months after inpatient treatment.

Out-patient treatment

Bupa By You Comprehensive cover pays for all eligible outpatient treatment in full up to your chosen limit. The Treatment & Care policy covers only inpatient treatment. Outpatient cover limit choices are:

£500, £1000, Unlimited

Comprehensive cover also includes out-patient therapies such as physiotherapy for eligible treatment. Either paid in full or up to your combined out-patient benefit limit.

Home Treatment

Treatment at home is available for certain eligible treatments such as chemotherapy.
Private Ambulance Private ambulance if you need eligible private in or day patient treatment and an ambulance is medically necessary for travel.
Parent Accommodation Bupa will pay for each night a parent needs to stay in hospital with their child, if the child is covered under the health insurance policy and is under 17 years of age.

Bupa Optional Extras

Additional optional extras are available to enhance your policy to suit your individual requirements:

Optional Benefit Details
Complementary Therapies

Such as osteopathy, chiropractic and acupuncture

Dental Cover 20

Routine check-ups, fllings and emergency treatment


What isn't covered?

Bupa’s exclusions are very standard, for Comprehensive and Treatment & Care policies, they do not routinely cover:

  • Accident and emergency treatment
  • Allergies, allergic disorders or food intolerances
  • Birth control, conception, sexual problems and gender reassignment
  • Chronic conditions
  • Cosmetic treatment
  • Contamination, wars, riots and some terrorist acts
  • Treatment for Alcoholism or Substance abuse
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Infertility treatment
  • Overseas treatment and repatriation
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Gender reassignment


Bupa have their own Bupa Everyday Rewards:

40% off Monthly+ Hussle memberships

20% off Fitbit products

10% off health assessments

Bupa Dental treatment discounts


Underwriting Options

Bupa Personal Health policy offers the below options for how your policy is underwritten:

  • Moratorium Underwriting: where you aren’t required to disclose any medical history until you make a claim
  • Full medical underwriting: where you disclose your medical history to Bupa
  • Switch 

For more definitions of terms, please see our glossary. 

Excess Options

Bupa's excess options range from £0 to £2000. The excess is only to be paid once per year, meaning you can have multiple claims but only have to pay your excess once. The excess options you choose will impact the premium you pay – the higher your excess, the lower the premium you pay will be.

£0, £100,£1500, £200, £250, £500, £1,000 or £2000.

Hospital Lists

Bupa have three levels of hospital lists:

Essential Access, Extended Choice, Extended Choice (including Central London), Guided Care

View Hospital List

How to make a claim


Step 1

Find out if direct access

is available to you


Step 2

Or visit a GP and get a referral letter.

Step 3

Call Bupa, to check your

treatment is covered


Frequently Asked Questions

Do Bupa cover cancer care?

Bupa offer three different levels of cancer cover on their Bupa By You policies: Full Cancer Cover and No Cancer Cover. Bupa’s full cancer cover option covers you for all eligible inpatient and outpatient treatment.  The No Cancer Cover option covers you for no cancer treatment, therefore you would use the NHS. More on cancer cover.

Does Bupa offer a Digital GP?

Bupa offer a 24/7 virtual GP app accessible to all policy holders. The app aims to give you an appointment within two hours of requesting one. Not only does the app allow you to speak to a GP from the comfort of your own home, but you can also book an appointment with an Advanced Nurse Practitioner and a Prescribing Pharmacist.

Does Bupa cover Mental Health?

Bupa claim to cover more mental health conditions than any other insurer. Bupa By You covers all mental health conditions except dementia, learning, behavioural and developmental conditions. Bupa have a dedicated helpline team of mental health support nurses who will be able to guide you and offer advice.

What does Bupa not cover?

Like most leading insurers, Bupa health insurance is intended to cover acute conditions as opposed to chronic conditions, such as diabetes. Acute flare ups may be covered, providing it is not excluded in the underwriting. All exclusions will be listed in your policy documents.

What are Bupa’s excess options?

Bupa's excess options range from £0 to £2,000. The excess is only to be paid once per year, meaning you can have multiple claims but only have to pay your excess once. The excess options you choose will impact the premium you pay – the higher your excess, the lower the premium you pay will be.

What does Bupa outpatient cover?

Comprehensive cover pays for all medical care not requiring a hospital bed, up to your outpatient limit. When setting up your policy you can choose the level of cover you wish, starting at £500 to unlimited cover. This will cover you for consultations, tests and scans, mental health treatment and therapies. Should you opt for Bupa’s “Treatment and Care” option, you will be covered for your inpatient treatment and therapies such as physiotherapy.


Bupa Insurance Policy Documents

For all the Bupa By You information, see the policy documents linked below.


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