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Health Insurance

Stories from our members

Perlita's story

We had yearned for a baby for many years before we fell pregnant. We underwent tests that revealed nothing untoward but still we did not fall pregnant. I had made peace with the idea that perhaps, although I longed for it, motherhood would not be for me.

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My husband, Joshua, and I had made plans for a life together thinking that we would always be only the two of us, and our dogs, but if you want to make the Universe laugh tell it your plans… One day as we were about to move from Brisbane to Tasmania, I felt sick and did a pregnancy test on a hunch.

We were pregnant!

I was enjoying a textbook pregnancy when at home one night, at 25 weeks, I began to feel pain which I assumed was pregnancy related and disregarded the cramping sensations.

The pain got a little stronger so I called the hospital and described my feelings. They said to rest for the night. When I awoke, I wasn’t only cramping, I was also bleeding and fear gripped my heart.

I was six centimetres dilated and my baby wanted to come now, but it was too soon. The organs would not have formed properly yet. We had no way of knowing if our baby would survive.

The pregnancy was such a surprise, such a welcome, joyous surprise, but now our baby was coming too soon and all of our hopes may have been shattered.

We were given a 75% chance of survival for birth, and all I could focus on was how desperately I wanted my baby to live.

We were both terrified.

When my son, Theodore, was born he was 810 grams and he would have fit in the palm of my hand, not that he did because I couldn’t touch him. He was taken away before I even saw him and my arms ached to hold my baby.

I couldn’t hold  Theo for a week, and then he could only lie on me and we could rest our hands on him but not stroke his tender flesh. His skin was so translucent and sensitive, even gentle touch could hurt him.

I was discharged from the hospital after a few days but still we were there all day, every day, sitting by his side.

After ten weeks of exhaustion and fear I began to feel hopeful that Theo would survive. He was growing and getting stronger. He was removed from the intensive care unit and they said as long as there were no infections he was looking good.

 
 

Adding to the family?

Whether you're planning your first addition to the family or adding siblings, our Growing Family hospital and extras package is a great option.
 

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Get our
Growing Family Cover

from $ ** per week
Quick quote>

**For families with an adjusted taxable income of $180,000 p.a. or less, with a 26.791% rebate in NSW. Assumes no LHC loading. Includes $500 excess.

Get our
Budget Family Cover

from $ * per week
Quick quote>

Get our
Established Family Cover

from $ ^ per week
Quick quote>

** * ^For families with an adjusted taxable income of $180,000 p.a. or less, with a 26.791% rebate in NSW. Assumes no LHC loading. Includes $500 excess.

Kids growing up?

If you're not planning on having more kids, our Budget and Established Family hospital and extras packages offer a range of useful features designed specifically for families.

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Get our
Budget Family Cover

from $ * per week

Get our Established
Family Cover

from $ ^ per week

*^For families with an adjusted taxable income of $180,000 p.a. or less, with a 26.791% rebate in NSW. Assumes no LHC loading. Includes $500 excess.

Care that comes to you.
Common medications provided on the spot, after hours, by a doctor, at no charge to you.

We recently teamed up with the National Home Doctor Service to provide our members with access to After Hours Plus. So when you book a bulk-billed home visit, the doctor can prescribe common medications, provided on the spot, at no charge to you.

Screenshot Learn more>
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Introducing Bupa Beginnings

Bupa Beginnings is an easy-to-use online tool that helps prospective and new parents understand their healthcare options. From hospital costs to birthing options, everything’s explained in clear terms – and you can even get an estimate of your out of pocket expenses, depending on the type of care you choose.

Visit Bupa Beginnings> Watch introduction>
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Your family’s guide to health.

  • (Lightbulb) | Thinking babies?
    ×

    Thinking babies? 5 questions to consider

    Understandably, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. When you begin looking into things like hospitals, doctors and birth plans, choosing an option that suits you can seem like a minefield. To help give you some clarity, here are some questions to ask.

    1. Do I need private health insurance?

      If you want to select your hospital, choose an obstetrician and see the same one throughout your pregnancy, and increase your likelihood of getting a private room, then having private health insurance may be the right option for you. On top of this, there are a range of pregnancy related benefits that vary greatly from insurer to insurer. If you’re looking for maximum value from your cover, comparing features between health insurers can really pay off.

      For example, some of our covers including our Growing Family package provide additional pregnancy benefits, including parenting education classes before your little one arrives, and eight weeks of additional support after your baby is born to help you with things like breastfeeding at Members First hospitals. Our arrangements with Members First hospitals also mean that if you book a private room more than 24 hours before your admission and don’t receive one, you’ll get $50 back per night from the hospital~. If you’re in need of additional support with your transition to parenthood, Bupa members with a hospital or combined cover package may also be fully covered for PIRI’s Parent and Baby Wellbeing program.

    2. When should I get cover for pregnancy?

      Many people don’t realise that you need to serve a 12-month waiting period before you can claim on hospital costs for childbirth from your health insurer. So if you’d like to give birth as a private patient, be sure to investigate your cover options well before conception. If you already have health cover that includes pregnancy cover and have served your 12-month waiting period, you won’t have to re-serve this if you move to an equivalent policy with a different health insurer - as long the transfer is made within 60 days of cancelling your previous policy.

    3. What kind of health insurance do I need?

      Take care when choosing or upgrading your cover, as not all health insurance policies cover pregnancy. Many lower cost policies may only cover minimum benefits for pregnancy (including childbirth), or may only cover you as a private patient in a public hospital. You also want to make sure your policy covers your baby once they are born in case they require immediate hospital care – most single policies won’t cover you and your baby, so shop around for a family package.

    4. Where will my partner stay?

      If it's important to you to have your partner nearby when your newborn arrives? Choosing to have your baby in a private hospital can give you a higher chance of securing a private room than in a public hospital. This may also offer the opportunity for your partner or family to stay overnight with you. Some private hospitals also provide hotel accommodation for you and your partner after your baby's delivery if it's medically appropriate.

    5. What will it cost me?

      Many people assume that their private health insurance will cover the majority of costs associated with having a baby. However, health insurance can only help cover costs for ‘inpatient’ services – meaning those services you receive while you’re admitted to a hospital. Our Bupa Medical Gap Scheme can help further reduce or eliminate these costs.

      Expenses incurred outside of your hospital stay including GP visits, obstetrician check-ups and some tests and scans can only be claimed through Medicare.

      To help make understanding the costs easier, we've introduced a free and easy-to-use interactive guide. Visit pregnancy.bupa.com.au or call 134 135 for more information.

    ~ It is advised that you reconfirm the booking more than 24 hours before your admission. Conditions apply – contact us for details

  • (Umbrella) | Top tips for comparing health cover
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    7 questions you should be asking about your cover

    If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there’s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. Just as you get regular health check-ups, it also makes sense to review your policy annually to make sure you’re covered for the things you need and aren’t paying for things you don’t. Reviewing your cover could save you money now, and more importantly, down the track by ensuring you’re covered for the things you’re most likely to need. Here are our top seven questions you should ask yourself:

    1. Does my cover suit my life stage?

      It seems like an obvious question, but many people may not be on a cover suitable to their life stage. Think about what extras services you regularly use now. What might you need a year from now? For example if you’re looking to start a family, you’ll generally need pregnancy cover for 12 months before you can make a claim so it might be time to change policies.

      If you’re young and healthy, you may be after an affordable policy in order to avoid paying extra tax or the Lifetime Health Cover Loading. But consider if this is really the right cover for you. You may find that spending a few extra dollars a week delivers far better value.

    2. What am I actually covered for again?

      Unfortunately many people assume that they’re covered for a lot more than they actually are, only to find out too late that they’re not. Avoid this situation by digging out your cover documents and checking your inclusions and waiting periods. When reviewing hospital cover, look for the terms ‘minimum benefit’ and ‘restricted service’. If you see these words, it means you’ll only be partly covered and will be likely to have large out of pocket expenses if you need a private hospital stay. It’s better to find this out before you need to use it.

    3. How much can I claim back on extras?

      The amount you can claim per visit and in a year (or a lifetime in some cases) will differ from cover to cover. What percentage will you get back on extras? Are a range of services bundled into a combined yearly limit? The more services that are bundled together, the more limiting it can be. You should also check if the limits are applied per person or per family. These things can all greatly affect the value you get from your cover.

      At Bupa , we think you should know what to expect before a visit. That’s why we’ve built great relationships with thousands of providers in our Members First network, which includes dentists, physios, chiros, podiatrists and optical providers across Australia. By visiting a Members First provider, members can receive between 60% and 100% of the cost back of most items up to yearly limits#.

    4. Am I covered for a private room in hospital?

      If privacy in hospital is important to you, make sure a private room is included in your cover. Some hospital policies only cover the full cost of a shared room, not a single room.

      Whether you choose a basic or top hospital cover with us, you’ll be covered for a private room in most private hospitals across Australia for the services included on your policy*. We’ve also gone one step further. Our arrangements with Members First hospitals mean that if you book a private room more than 24 hours before your admission and don’t receive one, you’ll get $50 back per night from the hospital~.

    5. Could I reduce my premium without reducing my cover?

      Some policies come with the option of reducing your premium via an excess or co-payment. With an excess, you’ll pay an amount upfront if you’re admitted to hospital. A co-payment is an amount you agree to pay each day towards your hospital stay. There can be advantages to doing it either way.

    6. What benefits are available for kids?

      Some covers offer benefits specifically for kids, which can make a big difference to the cost of a hospital stay or a visit to the dentist or optometrist. For instance, Bupa family packages don’t include an excess if your kids are admitted to hospital. You’ll also have no gap to pay for most kids’ visits to a Members First dentist or physio, as well as for selected optical and podiatry, up to yearly limits^.

    7. What other benefits does your health cover provide?

      Health cover can be a great support when you’re sick and need it most, but does your policy provide any value beyond that? Be sure to take a look at any extra support your insurer provides. Bupa members can access various support programs and discount partners. We’ve also teamed up with the National Home Doctor Service to give our member’s access to After Hours Plus. That means if a doctor is needed after hours, common medications can be prescribed on the spot at no cost.

      If you’re thinking of changing your cover or moving to another insurer, the good news is that you may not have to re-serve waiting periods if you switch to an equivalent or lower level of cover. If you would like more help with reviewing your cover, talk to a Bupa consultant on 134 135.

    # For most items covering dental, physio, chiro, selected optical and selected podiatry. Excludes orthodontics and hospital treatments. Fund and policy rules, and waiting periods apply. Set benefits apply at other recognised providers.
    * Private room not covered for minimum benefit services or exclusions. At Bupa agreement hospitals only, room availability and eligibility criteria apply.
    ~ Conditions apply – contact us for details
    ^ For most items covering dental, physio, selected optical and selected podiatry. Excludes orthodontics and hospital treatment. Child dependants only. Fund and policy rules, and waiting periods apply. Set benefits apply at other recognised providers.

  • (Magnifying glass) | How to spot quality cover and avoid a junk policy
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    Buyers guide: How to spot ‘quality’ cover and avoid a ‘junk policy’

    “When planning for my operation, I found out my private health insurance didn’t cover me at all. What am I paying for?” Unfortunately this is an all too common question asked by some people when using their health cover for the first time. And it’s not hard to figure out why – understanding all of the complexities and jargon involved isn’t easy. So we’ve put together this guide on how to spot a good quality cover that’s right for you, and help you identify those low value options commonly referred to as ‘junk policies’.

    1. Check what’s not covered in a private hospital.

      A common misconception held by many first time purchasers is that having health cover means you’ll be covered for all procedures in a private hospital. Unfortunately this is often not the case - what you are and aren’t covered for varies greatly depending on the level of hospital cover (eg. basic, medium or top), how much you pay and each individual insurer. The only real way to understand what you won’t be covered for in a private hospital is by paying close attention to the ‘restricted’ or ‘excluded’ services of each policy.

      Here are some of the common ones:

      • Hip and knee investigations or replacements.
      • Rehabilitation.
      • Psychiatric services (eg. drug and alcohol rehabilitation, depression and anxiety).
      • Pregnancy and childbirth.
      • Assisted reproductive services (IVF).
      • Heart-related investigations, treatment and surgery.
      • Cancer treatment and surgery.
      • Clinically necessary cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
      • Cataract and eye lens procedures.

      A less obvious exclusion to look out for is the ‘other hospital services’ item. This often appears as ‘all other inpatient treatments receiving a Medicare benefit’ or similar, and groups together thousands of treatments that are recognised by Medicare. If this is an exclusion on your policy, be aware that you’ll only be covered for the limited number of included services listed.

      Another thing to check for is the words ‘restricted’, ‘excluded’ or ‘minimum benefit’. If you spot these, it means you won’t be fully covered in a private hospital for those procedures and will likely face large out-of-pocket expenses.

      At Bupa, all of our singles policies include common procedures that younger people use like tonsils and adenoid removal, knee investigations and appendicitis treatment. If you’re looking for broader coverage, ourBudget Hospital cover also includes cardiac, cancer, rehabilitation and thousands of other procedures eligible for a Medicare benefit.

    2. How to identify a ‘junk policy’

      Some polices on the market have been labelled as ‘junk policies’ because they provide low value cover limited to things like accidents. While they might be a tempting option if you’re looking to avoid paying the Lifetime Health Cover loading, even some of the most common procedures won’t be covered.

      To identify a low value policy be sure to scrutinise options that seem too cheap, have a long list of exclusions, or alternatively have a very short list of inclusions like accident only cover.

    3. Is a private room covered?

      One key reason for taking out health insurance is the desire to be in a private room should you need to go to hospital. If that’s important to you, make sure your chosen policy covers you for a private room rather than a shared one. For example, whether you choose a basic or top hospital cover with us, you’ll be covered for a private room in most private hospitals across Australia*. Our arrangements with Members First hospitals also mean that if you don't receive a private room, you’ll get $50 back per night from the hospital^.

    4. Look for everyday value

      Find out what else your health insurer can provide beyond your policy – you might be pleasantly surprised. For example, we’ve recently introduced our Bupa plus program - an exclusive range of discounts, health tools and other member advantages. Find out more at www.bupaplus.com.au.

      Another example of value beyond your policy is our offering with the National Home Doctor Service, which provides complimentary access to After Hours Plus. This means when you book a bulk-billed home visit, the doctor can prescribe common medications on the spot, at no extra cost. Visitbupa.com.au/afterhoursplus for more details.

      We hope we’ve given you enough information to help you choose a quality health insurance. If you need any more information or advice, talk to us. Call 134 135.

    * Private room not covered for minimum benefit services or exclusions. At Bupa agreement hospitals only, room availability and eligibility criteria apply. ^ Private room subject to availability and eligibility. Must be booked and requested at least 24hrs before admission. For every night a private room is unavailable, you’ll receive $50 back per night from the hospital.

The Bupa difference |
Quality cover starts here

 

Privacy when it counts

We believe that the word ‘private’ should actually mean private. That’s why whether you choose a basic or top hospital cover with us, you’ll be covered for a private room in most private hospitals across Australia for the services included on your policy*. Plus if you pre-book at a Members First hospital you’ll receive a private room or you’ll get $50 back per night1.

 

Bupa Plus

Even when you’re in great health, there are still plenty of ways to get everyday value thanks to Bupa Plus. An exclusive range of rewarding health discounts, tools and more to help you live a healthier, happier life.

Find out more
 

13SICK, National Home Doctor Service

We understand that illness can strike at any time, including after hours when your GP is not available. That’s why our members have complimentary access to After Hours Plus from 13SICK National Home Doctor Service. This means common medications can be prescribed on the spot, at no cost so you can start getting well sooner.

Find out more
 

Gap free for kids+

With our range of family packages, most kids’ dental and physio visits are gap free at Members First providers. Plus selected optical packages are gap free for the whole family at Members First providers. Yearly limits apply.

 

More value with Members First

We’ve built relationships with thousands of providers in our Members First extras network, which includes dentists, physios, chiros, and optical providers nationwide. It means you’ll have more choice, and in most cases, less to pay for your treatment. Plus, depending on your choice of cover, you can get between 60% and 100% of the cost back (up to your yearly limits)#.

 

Fewer surprises at hospital

To help our members eliminate or reduce out-of-pocket medical costs and doctor's fees associated with their hospital stay, we developed our Bupa Medical Gap Scheme. And we’re continuing to make improvements to this scheme. For instance, in 2015 our members saved over $20 million in medical costs compared with the 12 months prior.

Switch today.

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