Bupa Health Insurance Review

Bupa is one of Australia's largest health insurers with more than 4 million members. Part of the international Bupa Group founded in 1947, they also provide healthcare to the Australian Defence Force and aged care across 72 homes.

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by Gary Andrews

Last update 15 Apr 2021


It offers six hospital plans and seven extras plans, with varying levels of coverage and rebates.

Bupa has a large network of Members First medical, dental and other providers where members can claim a rebate of up to 100%.

Bupa also offers members a loyalty program -- Bupa Plus.

You can save on a range of entertainment, health and fitness services as well as enter member-only competitions.

Key Points

Claim up to 100% through Bupa's Members First providers
Most kids' dental, physio and podiatry visits are gap-free
Fast on-the-spot claims through the myBupa online hub

Compare health insurers on our panel.


Hospital cover

Nobody chooses to go to hospital.

But when you do, hospital cover will help you get the treatment you need, where and when you want it.

It also helps to pay the bills, as fees for hospital rooms and specialists can add up.

Think about what services you're likely to need, in line with your budget.

If you earn over $90,000 individually or $180,000 as a couple, you could avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

Bupa offers six policies, including three budget policies, through to a Gold plan that covers pregnancy and birthing.

There's also two mid-level Silver Plus plans.

All Bupa hospital plans come with ambulance cover and access to the Bupa Plus loyalty program.

Basic Accident Only Hospital

Bupa's no-frills budget cover for accidents is typically taken out by people looking to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

Key inclusions:

  • Lung and chest
  • Capped emergency ambulance cover
  • Accomodation for overnight and same-day stays

Basic Plus Starter Hospital

A basic entry level plan that covers accidents and many common hospital services. Covers many common procedures that younger Australians may require.

Key inclusions:

  • Dental surgery
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Gynaecology
  • Hernia and appendix

Bronze Plus Simple Hospital

A more comprehensive budget plan that covers accidents and a wide range common hospital services for a range of Australians. Comes with the option to choose your excess.

Key inclusions:

  • Male reproductive system
  • Ear, nose and throat
  • Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy
  • Diabetes management (excluding insulin pumps)

Silver Plus Essential Hospital

A medium level of cover for people who want a high excess to keep costs down.

There's no excess for kids when they're admitted to hospital, making this a policy suitable for families.

Key inclusions:

  • Back, neck and spine
  • Heart and vascular system
  • Medically necessary breast surgery

Silver Plus Advanced Hospital

Higher-lever cover for a broad range of procedures.

Cover includes cataracts, hearing devices and joint replacements, so this policy may be suitable for seniors.

Key inclusions:

  • Joint replacements
  • Implantation of hearing devices
  • Cataracts
  • Insulin pumps

Gold Hospital

Top level hospital cover that's Bupa's most expensive policy.

Includes pregnancy and birth, and assisted reproductive services.

Key inclusions:

  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Assisted reproductive services
  • Weight-loss surgery
  • Dialysis for chronic kidney failure

Ambulance Cover

All hospital plans include emergency ambulance to hospital -- one trip for singles and two for couples/families, per calendar year.

Extras cover

From dental, to optical, to chiro and more, extras insurance helps cover the bills for routine treatments with rebates of up to 100%.

Simply work out what you need and what you're prepared to pay.

Bupa has seven extras plans to choose from.

There's budget cover for the bare essentials, through to a comprehensive plan, including unlimited preventative dental and rebates of up to 100%.

Orange 50

Only covers the basics of general dental, physio, chiro and osteo and comes with a limit of $500 per person, per year across all extras.

Budget Extras 60

Budget option that allows you to claim 60% back on common out-of-hospital items such as general dental, optical, physio, chiro, osteo, and remedial massage

Orange 60

An alternative 60% back budget option that has a limit of $700 per year per person on general dental, physio, chiro and osteo, to a limit of $700, plus $150 back on optical and $100 back on remedial massage per person.

Your Choice Extras 60

Flexible package that allows you to claim up to 60% from your choice of four Bupa Members First providers, across dental, physio, chiro, optical, orthodontics and more. Yearly limits increase the longer you stay with the policy.

Top Extras 60

One of Bupa's most comprehensive extras packages. Covers all available Bupa extras and gives you between 60% -- 66% back depending on how long you've held the policy.

Top Extras 75

This package is similar to Bupa's Top Extras 60, but allows you to claim between 75%-82.5% back on treatments depending on how long you've held the policy. Has no annual limit on general dental.

Top Extras 90

Bupa's most expensive extras package provides the highest level of cover with 90%-100% back on most Members First extras, along with the highest annual limits of all extras packages


Waiting periods

To stop people signing up, claiming, then cancelling their health insurance, all insurers apply waiting periods.

Generally, the more expensive the treatment, the longer you'll wait.

But keep an eye out for special deals with waiting periods reduced or waived.

Accident Only Hospital -- Basic Starter Hospital -- Basic Plus Lite Hospital -- Bronze Plus Mid Hospital -- Silver Plus Silver Plus Hospital

  • 2 months -- palliative care, rehabilitation and psychiatric
  • 12 months -- pre-existing conditions
  • 2 months -- all other treatments
  • No waiting period -- for accidents after joining

Gold Hospital

  • 2 months -- palliative care, rehabilitation and psychiatric
  • 12 months -- pre-existing conditions
  • 2 months -- all other treatments
  • No waiting period -- for accidents after joining

Member benefits

As well as a wide range of hospital and extra covers, Bupa gives members access to Bupa Plus, a loyalty program with discounts and offers from over 40 partners.

Save on entertainment, nutrition, fitness and travel, and enter regular competitions.

How to claim

Claim on the spot through the HICAPS payment system at your provider, or through the myBupa online hub.

You can also send your claim form by post.

Hospital agreements

Bupa has agreements with most private hospitals and day clinics across Australia, including their Members First facilities.

You can see the full range of Bupa hospitals in this PDF.

When comparing policies, it's worth checking if your local hospitals and clinics are covered.

Customer service

Bupa received 164 complaints from 1 April to 30 June 2020.

That's 22.1% of complaints vs 25.8% market share.



Is Bupa Australia a not-for-profit fund?

No, but profits go back into the business to benefit members. Bupa’s parent company, the Bupa Group is not-for-profit.

Who can apply? Are there any restrictions?

You’ll need to be an Australian resident with a Medicare card and over 17.

Is it easy to switch to Bupa?

Yes, it’s easy to switch your health insurance and you can do this at any time.

Do I need to re-serve waiting periods?

No, providing you transfer to Bupa on an equivalent or lower cover within 60 days of leaving your old fund.

Can I change my level of cover?

Yes, you can choose a lower or higher level of cover. If you move to a higher level of cover, you will usually need to serve waiting periods on the extra services.

Do I get the government rebate?

Most Australians are eligible to receive a rebate from the government. This will depend on your age and income.

To learn what you're entitled to, see this rebate guide.

Do I have to pay the Lifetime Health Cover loading?

If you're joining for the first time and you're 31 or over, you usually need to pay 2% loading for each year you've gone without health cover since your 31st birthday.

You can find out more here.

When do extras reset?

Extras reset on 1 January each year.

What age are children covered up to?

Bupa will cover children up to the age of 21.

If they're studying full time, dependents can be covered as a student under a family policy up to the age of 25.

Children must not be married or living in a de facto relationship. Read our guide to learn more.


This guide is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.