COVID-19 – Bupa

Please see Bupa’s website and Bupa Global’s website for their latest information on the impact of COVID-19.

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.

Each applicable policy of insurance must be reviewed to determine the extent, if any, of coverage for COVID-19. Coverage may vary depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances. For global client programs it is critical to consider all local operations and how policies may or may not include COVID-19 coverage.
The information contained herein is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with your own legal and/or other professional advisors. Some of the information in this publication may be compiled by third party sources we consider to be reliable, however we do not guarantee and are not responsible for the accuracy of such information. We assume no duty in contract, tort, or otherwise in connection with this publication and expressly disclaim, to the fullest extent permitted by law, any liability in connection with this publication. Willis Towers Watson offers insurance-related services through its appropriately licensed entities in each jurisdiction in which it operates.
For further support and advice from Willis Towers Watson Health & Benefits contact your Account Manager or the Client Services team:

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