COVID-19 – Bupa
We have reviewed the insurer’s website and other communications. The key updates and changes are listed below.
Bupa – key updates
- Bupa’s digital GP service (provided by Babylon) is being rolled out to all insured customers irrespective of renewal date.
- Video consultations are funded provided they are with a Bupa recognised consultant and covered normally by the benefits.
- The time that a GP or consultant referral is valid for has been extended to three months. If a NHS cash benefit is featured on the policy, Bupa will pay this for any Covid-19 related treatment, effectively waiving the pandemic exclusion that applies to the policy.
- Bupa has committed to refund customers if there is an ‘exceptional financial benefit’ as a result of reduced claims because there is limited access to treatment. Details have not yet been publicised and Bupa intend to commission an independent review to ensure their approach is ‘fair and reasonable’
Bupa Global – key updates
- Clarified Bupa Global will pay claims relating to the diagnosis and treatment for members for the duration of COVID-19 emergency.
International health – medical evacuation
The process of undertaking medical evacuations that cross borders has become increasingly challenging during the current global COVID-19 outbreak. Many countries have increased restrictions for entry with some closing borders completely.
Insurers continue to cover emergency evacuation under the terms and conditions of the policy should a member’s condition require medical facilities not available locally. However with the current restrictions and controls in place by the various governments, the evacuation process is being impacted.
As you would expect there are additional processes in place which typically include;
- Screening of patients to include tests for respiratory symptoms or fever, member contact history, COVID-19 testing and travel history.
- There are increased restrictions for healthcare workers escorting patients adding additional challenges.
- The admission process for receiving facilities is also highly monitored and managed. Bed availability is becoming increasingly limited with the increased pressure on global health systems and isolation requirements for incoming patients.
Although medical emergency evacuation remains an eligible benefit, with the current situation all cases are heavily scrutinised, with additional consideration of the global restrictions impacting decisions for evacuation strategy.