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Suspending your membership while travelling overseas

If you’re an Australian resident and planning to travel overseas you can suspend your membership while you’re away.

How do I suspend my membership?

It’s easy. Simply have your travel dates confirmed and make the request by either;

  • speaking directly to a Bupa consultant,
  • sending a letter or email to Bupa, or
  • by completing an application to suspend your membership form.

Am I eligible to suspend my membership?

To be eligible to suspend your membership you must:

  • have held your membership for at least 12 months
  • have paid your premiums up to the day after your suspension date
  • you can only suspend your policy twice per calendar year
  • applied for your suspension prior to your departure date - a suspension cannot be applied to your membership retrospectively.

How long can I suspend my membership for?

Your membership can be suspended:

  • for a minimum period of two months travel
  • for a maximum period of two years per suspension - if you choose to extend your suspension beyond two years a one month contribution is required between each suspension period
  • twice per calendar year
  • for a maximum period of 6 years (3 two year periods) consecutively. After a 6 year period, the membership will be terminated if it is not recommenced within 30 days.

What do I need to do when I return from overseas?

When you return to Australia:

  • notify Bupa of your return within 30 days of your arrival.
  • notify Bupa if you would like Direct Debit payment arrangements to start again (if you paid your premiums via direct debit before you left to go overseas and your period of suspension is greater than 4 months) - otherwise you will receive a renewal notice to advise you that a membership payment is required. If your period of suspension is less than 4 months your direct debit arrangements will continue.
  • Make a payment to your membership - if Bupa does not receive any payments once your membership recommences, it will lapse and you will not be able to make any claims.

Things you need to know while your membership is suspended

If you decide to cut your travels short you are required to notify Bupa within 30 days of your return to alter your recommencement date and to ensure you are covered.

Suspending your membership means that you will not be covered for any service or treatment for the duration of your suspension.

If you return from suspension within two years and your membership has a payment made, your new premium will not incur Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) as a result of your suspension. After you resume your membership, any period for which your membership is not paid will be classed as absent days so it is important that you ensure your membership remains financial.

If you extend your suspension beyond two years a payment will be required to ensure your LHC is not affected.

While you are on suspension you will be considered as not holding an appropriate level of hospital cover. At the end of the financial year, if your income is likely to be subjected to means testing for the additional Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) you may incur the additional MLS for your period of suspension. For more information go to or speak to your tax adviser.

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