Bupa Overseas Visitor Health Insurance Review

BUPA Overseas Visitor Health InsuranceBupa is one of the largest health funds in Australia offering a wide range of insurance products including overseas visitor health insurance.

The Australian health fund gained market share by purchasing other Australian health insurance companies including Mutual Community, HBA and MBF.

What Overseas Visitor Health Cover Does BUPA Offer?

BUPA offers three overseas visitor health insurance products for those looking to work on a temporary visa in Australia (such as a subclass 457 visa):

1) Essentials Visitor Cover

This is BUPA’s budget option starting at $104.89 which is more expensive then other providers such as HIF, Frank and Medibank.

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The policy includes treatment in public hospitals or private hospitals that are part of the BUPA network (or have agreements with BUPA). These hospitals may charge a fixed daily fee (co-payment) for every day you stay within the hospital.

2) Gold Members Cover

This is BUPA’s middle tier overseas visitor health insurance cover plan, that does remain popular among visitors. As of April, 2016–the costs are fairly flexible and extras can be added without surmounting a large monthly payment. However, there is a $500 excess on this policy per year which means when you go to a private hospital you will need to pay the first $500 of the costs.

3) Platinum Visitors Cover

This policy also has a $500 excess and offers premium hospital and doctor services. It also includes extras such as dental, hospital and physio.

What are BUPA’s Reviews?

BUPA has the worst customer reviews on the leading Australian review website “product review” with a score of 1.2 stars from 85 customers (as of 6/01/2015).

The key concerns within these reviews are:
– Ambiguous on what is covered within policies
– Poor customer service
– Difficulty in making claims

To compare BUPA’s score to other health providers offering overseas visitor health cover as of 02/02/2016 you can view below:
– BUPA = 1.3 From 162 Reviews
– Frank = 4.8 From 120 Reviews
– HIF = 3.3 From 44 Reviews
IMAN = 2.6 From 27 Reviews
– Medibank = 1.8 from 195 Reviews

While BUPA has many negative reviews onĀ Product Review they have a high market share due to the earlier acquisitions of Australian health funds and regularly advertise. This combined with their strong brand equity both within Australia and the UK means many people choose the provider that they feel they know and can trust.

Does BUPA Have The Cheapest Overseas Health Cover?

There are some providers that offer lower prices then BUPA that are ‘not for profit’. This means that these companies don’t have shareholders so there is no need to make profits and pay dividends. Instead any profits are reinvested to members services and keeping prices low.

Three not for profit companies offering overseas visitor health insurance are Frank (who offer the lowest price), HIF and Australian Unity. You should view the overseas visitor health insurance comparison table to compare policy priced and options.

Who Needs Overseas Visitor Health Cover?

Anyone that is coming to work within Australia on a temporary working visa such as the 457 visa or 485 visa must meet ‘condition 8501’. This condition requires them to maintain adequate health insurance during their stay in Australia and must show proof of this cover when applying for the visa. The BUPA overseas visitor health insurance policies listed above (and the other policies shown on this site) meet condition 8501.

Condition 8501 may be met if the individual, couple or family that has the working visa gains Medicare. Only those that come from a country that has a reciprocal health care agreement can apply for Medicare and they can only apply once in Australia.

It should be noted that overseas visitor health cover providers more comprehensive coverage compared to Medicare which is viewed more as a ‘safety net’ in Australia. Relying on Medicare may not only restrict your options if you do become sick or injured in Australia but may also lead you significantly out of pocket if you do require certain medical services. There are also tax benefits for having health insurance for many visa holders.

BUPA is rated 1.3 stars by 162 customers.