In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.

Bupa's premium review

“We recognise that our members don’t like price increases so we work extremely hard to keep healthcare costs affordable whilst continuing to provide new and better services. We also realise how important it is that members receive maximum value from their cover when they’re healthy, as well as when they need treatment”.

- Richard Bowden, Managing Director

Is Bupa planning to increase membership premiums?

This is the time of year when Bupa and most other health funds review their premiums. Bupa has received approval from the Minister for Health & Ageing to revise our premiums and make changes to some of levels of cover.

We recognise that our members don’t like price increases, so we work extremely hard to keep healthcare costs affordable, whilst continuing to provide new and better services. We also realise how important it is that members receive maximum value from their cover when they’re healthy, as well as when they need treatment. That’s why we’re investing in new products, health programs and technological innovations that benefits our members.

Bupa remains committed to improving the health of our members, and we will continue to provide them with healthcare support, information and advise they need both now and in the long-term.

To find some information on different Bupa health insurance options, you can either compare health insurance or get a health insurance quote online.

What is Bupa’s premium increase?

Our average premium increase of 4.91% is lower than the industry average of 5.06%.

Is Bupa’s increase lower than other health funds?

Over the last 11 years, the average annual premium increase across all Bupa’s health insurance brands has been below the industry average.

How much will the premiums increase by on average?

On average, health insurance will increase by $1.30 per week for a single person and $2.90 per week for a family– with the Federal Government 30% Rebate on private health insurance.

Why does Bupa need to increase premiums?

We understand that members don’t like price rises so we work extremely hard to keep healthcare costs affordable. However, the benefits we pay to members and the overall cost of healthcare continue to increase every year.

As a business, we work hard to manage costs responsibly to ensure our members receive maximum value from their cover when they’re healthy, as well as when they need treatment.

To make sure you are getting the most value out of your health insurance and your health cover is right for you, call us on 134 135 or visit your local Bupa centre.

When/how will I know what my rate increase is?

From Monday 12th March, Bupa will begin mailing letters to members to advise any premium or product changes to their membership.

Has Bupa increased their premiums as a result of the change in legislation to means test the Rebate and increase the Medicare Levy Surcharge?

No. Means testing the Private Health Insurance Rebate is an initiative that the Federal Government has decided and is independent to our premium review.

With the Rebate changes, will I be getting two premium increases this year?

Bupa’s premium increases will be effective from 1 April. If your premium is to increase you will be advised in writing in March.

If you are a single earning more than $84,000 or a couple/family earning more than $168,000 you will be impacted by the legislation changes for the Federal Government 30% Rebate and the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) and will receive a reduction and/or potentially removal of your rebate. This change will be effective from 1 July and will increase the cost of your health insurance premiums.

As part of these legislation changes, the MLS will also increase for some members affected by means testing to as high as 1.5%, to encourage them to maintain their private health insurance.

Why is my increase percentage higher than the Bupa average?

The figure you would have seen in the media is the average premium increase for all Bupa members. However, your actual increase may be different depending on which level of cover you have, and in which state you live.

The premium for each cover option is reviewed each year against the number of claims and benefits paid to members. That is why there are differences in the premium increases for different covers and some cover options have an increase above the average and some below.

How much did Bupa pay in benefits last year?

Last year, we paid more than $3.8 billion in benefits – an increase of 8.9% on the previous year.

Last year Bupa supported the medical treatment of more than 7150 members in hospital each day and our members spent in total 2.6 million days in hospital receiving the private care they needed.

If a member goes to hospital, will their visit be gap free?

While this depends on a member’s level of cover, generally speaking, the answer is ‘yes’ provided that they visit a hospital within our network. Last year, 89% of all in-hospital medical services provided to members were gap free.

What are the benefits of being a private health insurance member?

Being a Bupa member provides people with more choices when it comes to making important decisions about their health such as choosing their own doctor, and generally, when and where they are treated. These choices are not available to patients in the public health system.

If you have extras cover, you can look after your health and get more value by choosing to use one of our Members First providers, rather than non-network providers, because their fees have been negotiated and agreed upfront.

Below are some of the benefits of Bupa health cover:

  • Bupa members have access to our extensive network of more than 10,000 ‘Members First’ dental, optical, physiotherapy and chiropractic providers**
  • 60% to 100% back on all general dental treatment^
  • 60% to 100% back on most physiotherapy and chiropractic services^
  • Higher benefits and annual maximums at Members First providers including BLINK Optical, Kevin Paisley Fashion Eyewear, National Pharmacies Optical, Prevue Eyewear, Stacey and Stacey Optometrists and selected independent retailers than at non network providers
  • A range of fixed-price packages on glasses and contact lenses at no additional cost*
  • Up to $100 off a wide range of fashion frames#
  • 20% off a variety of sunglasses and non-standard contact lenses at BLINK Optical and National Pharmacies Optical

In addition, we have some great product features, including:

  • Loyalty Maximums benefit on selected covers that increases how much you can claim each year by 20% of the initial amount for most services (applies after the first 12 months up to a maximum increase of 100%).
  • Benefit Bonus on selected covers, which helps you get 2% more back on your Extras claims each year, up to a maximum of 10% (applies each calendar year after the first 12 months).
  • Top-up Bonus on selected covers which helps cover out-of-pocket costs (applies each calendar year after the first 12 months).
  • Exciting member discounts on movie tickets, theme parks, airfares, fitness programs and much more with our discount partners.
  • We also offer preventive health and wellness programs such as Living Well and Positive Health Programs on selected covers.

Where can I access information on what I am covered for?

All members who receive a letter advising them of any premium increases and product changes, will also receive a Standard Information Statement which outlines what they are covered for.

If you require additional information, you can access information on, by calling 134 135 or by visiting your local Bupa Centre.

Is it more cost effective for people to try and fund their own treatment rather than being a member of a health fund?

Most people grossly underestimate the cost of basic treatments. It can take years to save up the funds required for many common operations, and trying to fund a person’s own private care increases the risk of them not being able to cover themselves against the cost of unexpected complications such as additional operations or treatments.

For example, Bupa’s top 10 most expensive claims cost more than $2.29 million, while the highest was made for a patient with stomach cancer requiring intensive care at a cost of $370,921 to Bupa.

Additionally, people who have private health insurance have the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can be covered for medical treatments when and if they become necessary.

# Not in conjunction with any other offer
^ The percentage you get back is dependent on your level of cover and up to your annual maximums. Waiting periods apply.
* Depending on your level of cover. Annual maximums and waiting periods apply.
** As at 1 February 2012


About Bupa As a leading healthcare business in Australia, Bupa’s purpose is to help Australians live longer, healthier, happier lives. 

Bupa proudly provides health insurance to more than three million Australians (previously under the well known health insurance brands MBF, HBA, and Mutual Community), as well as complementary healthcare services through Bupa Health Dialog, Peak Health Management and Blink Optical. Bupa Care Services is an aged care provider with 47 facilities around Australia.

 Bupa focuses on providing sustainable healthcare solutions that represent real value, and on leading the industry in the promotion of preventive health and wellness – helping customers better manage their health for the long-term. Bupa’s Australian businesses are part of the international Bupa Group, which cares for more than 30 million people in over 190 countries.