/* Hide "SimpleMap Trial" branding*/


Bupa Health Insurance is a major health insurance provider in the UK, with a long history dating back to 1947. They offer a variety of health insurance plans, including private health insurance, dental insurance, and pay-as-you-go plans.

Read all about it in MyHealthPal's latest Bupa Health Insurance review.

Background and History

Established in 1947:

Bupa Health Insurance, established in 1947 by 17 British provident associations, has a long history of providing private healthcare to the general public. As a private company limited by guarantee, Bupa has no shareholders, and any profits (after tax) are reinvested back into the business.



British United Provident Association (BUPA) was founded.


By the 1950s, Bupa had acquired 200,000 members.


In 1967, Bupa purchased their first computer (which took over the entire Essex Street (London) headquarters!).


Its first health screening centre opened in 1974, followed by its first TV commercial.


The Bupa Medical Foundation (charity) launched in 1979, helping to fund practical projects that improve the health of both people and the planet.


Bupa International opened and became the largest health screening provider. Another Bupa Health branch opened in Milton Keynes, England.


Bupa acquired Barbican Health in the mid-90s and launched the first Bupa Dental facility. Bupa's international reach spread to 170 countries.


Bupa Wellness, an employee-focused well-being program, kicked off.


By the time the millennium came around, Bupa had opened a total of 40 Bupa Wellness clinics.


By the 2010s, Bupa had a total of 16.7 million healthcare insurance customers.


2014 saw the start of Bupa's climate change campaign in an effort to combat global warming by focusing on renewable energy and waste management systems across all their facilities.


The eco-Disruptive program (global talent and innovation programme focused on sustainable strategies in the healthcare industry) launched in 2021 as a key component of Bupa's Mission Accelerate campaign.


1947 - Present:

38 million clients worldwide (in 170 countries) with 85,000 dedicated employees.


Bupa Insurance set aside a £125 million provision to cover exceptional financial benefits for customers due to COVID-19.

Bupa Reviews

Bupa has an average rating of 4.2/5 stars on Trustpilot, based on over 11,300 reviews, with 82% of users rating the company as "great" or "excellent".
"First time I have used Bupa Insurance and it was so easy. I joined Bupa Dental through my workplace and had my first check-up last week, submitted the claim to BUPA the same night, and received a text the next day saying the claim was being processed and it was paid the day after that." - Leanne, May 2024.

Health Insurance Plans

Private Health Insurance:

Provides cover for private hospital treatments, consultations, and diagnostics with flexibility to choose providers and specialists.

Dental Insurance:

Covers routine dental care, emergency treatments, fillings, dentures, and other dental procedures.

Pay-As-You-Go Insurance:

Access a range of treatments and care with this health insurance plan and only pay when you need it. This includes health assessments, private GP appointments, physiotherapy, and sexual health services.

Care Homes:

Offers residential, nursing, dementia, and convalescent care - amongst others.

Health Cash Plans:

Allows claims for everyday healthcare expenses like dental visits, eye tests, and physiotherapy.


This 12-month private health insurance policy is tailored for anyone in the UK wanting to cover the cost of private healthcare. Bupa By You has two cover options:

Bupa Treatment and Care Health Insurance

A Bupa Treatment and Care Health Insurance policy covers the cost of private treatment for those who go to the NHS for a diagnosis. Essentially, you can go to your NHS GP for an initial diagnosis and then use your private health insurance cover for private treatment and care. The average annual Bupa health insurance cost of this policy is roughly £28 (for a 20-year-old, non-smoking male).

A few features of this health insurance policy include:

Hospital treatment.

Mental health cover.

Out-patient therapies.

Tests after treatment.

Appointments after treatment.

Scans after treatment (e.g. MRI, CT, PET).

Bupa By You Comprehensive Cover

The average annual Bupa health insurance cost of this policy is roughly £38 (for a 20-year-old, non-smoking male).

A few features of this health insurance policy include:

Outpatient consultations.

Diagnostic tests.

Outpatient therapy.

Scans (e.g. CT, PET, and MRI).

Parent stay.

Private ambulance services.

Treatment in hospital.

Mental well-being.

Cash Benefit Under NHS Treatment.

NHS Cancer cover add-on.

Anytime HealthLine.

Family Mental HealthLine.

Menopause HealthLine.

Additional Health Benefits

Health Information:

Additional resources for an A - Z list of conditions, treatments, and procedures. From articles to videos, get the expert information you need, including topics for mental health conditions, cancer cover, dementia, and children's health.

Patient Portal:

Book online, manage appointments, update information, and view documents in one convenient space.

Bupa Blua:

Consult with a private doctor, medical nurse or therapist via the 24/7 digital platform. You can also get repeat prescriptions sent to your local pharmacy directly.

Prescription And Hospital Stay Benefits

Prescription Benefits:

Reimbursement for prescribed medications as part of treatment. Use Bupa Blua virtual platform to have prescriptions sent to your local pharmacy.

Hospital Stay Benefits:

Covers the costs of private hospital stays, including room charges, nursing care, and specialist fees.

Bupa Claims

Bupa PMI customers need to pay an "excess" charge (an agreed monetary amount towards the cost of treatment before your insurance policy covers the rest). For many policies, the cost of treatment, including the excess, is deducted from your benefit allowance, for example:

You have a benefit allowance of £1,500 for outpatient treatment (with £200 excess).

You undergo outpatient treatment costing £100.

You pay the entire £100 as part of your excess, leaving £100 excess remaining for future claims in that policy year.

This £100 payment also reduces your outpatient allowance by £100, leaving you with £1,400 for the rest of the year.

Bupa Claims Process

You don't need a referral letter if you are experiencing any of the following health issues/symptoms and may be able to get medical treatment immediately:

Cancer - including skin cancer and moles.

Mental health.

Muscle, bone and joint problems.

Alternatively, you can follow these steps when making a claim:


Speak to a GP, through the digital app, in person or over the phone at +44 345 609 0111.


Ask the GP for an "open referral letter". The letter needs to specify which treatment and care you need and which specialist you need to see.


Contact Bupa Health Insurance for your pre-authorisation code. Speak to a consultant between 08:00 - 20:00 Monday to Friday or 08:00 - 16:00 on Saturdays.


View your authorisation and claim details in the Bupa Touch app.

Support For Sustainability And Community

Environmental Initiatives

Bupa's climate change campaign began in 2014 and remains fully committed to reducing its environmental impact by becoming a net-zero business by 2040.

Bupa's UK headquarters are certified sustainable buildings, which help combat its direct carbon emissions.

Bupa has increased its sustainable investments in renewable energy and electric vehicles.

Community Support

Bupa Foundation:

Operating since 2015, this foundation has supported hundreds of charities and donated over £7 million in grants to help create healthier communities.

Green Community Grants:

Groundwork has teamed up with Bupa and has awarded £500,000 to green projects at over 240 schools and non-profit charities.


Bupa Health Insurance has been funding ParalympicsGB athletes since 2022.

Innovative Technology


eco-Disruptive launched across five regions (Australia, Spain, UK, Hong Kong SAR, and New Zealand) as part of the Mission Accelerate initiative. The programme is designed to tackle six challenge areas within each region, from decarbonisation to urban regeneration.


The second edition of eco-Disruptive launched.

Bupa Blua:

Digital healthcare services (24/7 virtual GP consultations) are already in place - to combat its indirect emissions. This reduces the amount of emissions from patient travel and equipment power.

90% of Bupa's systems are on flexible cloud-based servers to accelerate its net-zero digitalisation goal.

Awards And Recognitions


UK Health & Protection Awards:

Best Customer Service Delivery.

Best Add on or Support Service (Insurer).

Best Wellbeing Provider.

Best Individual Health Insurance Provider.

COVER Excellence Awards:

Outstanding Added Value Provider.

Outstanding New Technology Offering.

Outstanding Group Health Provider.

Midlands Enterprise Awards:

Bupa Dental Care.


Best Dental Benefits Provider.

Best Wellbeing Provider.

Best Group Healthcare Provider.

Company of the Year.


Health Insurance & Protection Awards:

Best Coronavirus Response by a Provider.

Best Webinar & Podcast Programme by a Provider.

Best Diversity & Inclusion Programme.

Best SME PMI Provider.

Best Individual International Healthcare Provider.


Best Customer Service.

Best SME Private Medical Insurance Provider.


Best Group Private Medical Insurance (PMI) Provider Award.

Best Online Intermediary Service Provider Award.

Environmental And Social Contributions

Climate Change:

Committed to achieving net zero by 2040 and transitioning to renewable energy by 2025.


Conservation projects and partnerships with environmental organisations are in place to restore the biodiversity around Bupa facilities, including sustainable water and waste management usage.

Charitable Support:

Supports local communities through health and wellness programmes, such as Bupa Foundation and Green Community Grants.

Employee Wellbeing:

Focus on employee health through various initiatives and flexible working hours to support work-life balance.