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A Guide to Bupa Healthcare

Bupa is arguably the best known brand in private health insurance and healthcare. Most people are aware of Bupa health insurance but the service offered by the company is much broader than that, touching on all aspects of our health and wellbeing.

Health

Health insurance and treatment is what Bupa is best known for. As well as offering health insurance, it offers consultations and treatment for one-off payments, even if you don’t have Bupa health insurance. You can also pay for a one-off health assessment.

Health insurance: A variety of different levels of cover is offered, ranging from treatment and care after diagnosis to a fully comprehensive policy which covers all medical costs including diagnosis. Additional cover for cancer treatment is also available. All customers have access to a 24-hour helpline and benefit from discounts from a range of major national and international brands.

Self-pay treatments: Even without Bupa membership, you can pay for individual treatments and services. It’s effectively pay-as-you-go private healthcare – you only pay for what you need. It allows you to get private GP appointments and various medical treatments which would otherwise have necessitated a lengthy wait on NHS waiting lists.

Health assessments: You can pay for a one-off health assessment to get an overview of your current state of health, to identify any health problems you may face in the future and guidance on how to improve your health and fitness. A number of different assessments are available depending on your own personal requirements.

Dental

You may not be aware, but Bupa offers dental insurance as well as health insurance. Patients can have treatment at their usual NHS or private dentist or at a Bupa dental centre.

Finance and insurance: Patients at NHS and private dentists can take out Bupa health insurance to cover the cost of their treatment. Alternatively, the Bupa Dental Health Plan covers the cost of all preventative dental care at one of the Bupa dental centres. Patients paying for treatments can pay by credit or debit card or may be able to take advantage of cash plans or interest free loans.

Dental centres: Whether you have dental insurance or want to pay for a one-off check-up or treatment, Bupa offers dental services at a network of centres spanning the UK.

Dental treatments: Bupa offers a range of dental care and treatment to both insured members and to patients paying for individual services. At a Bupa dental centre patients can have everything from a routine check-up and hygiene treatment to procedures such as crowns and fillings. Cosmetic surgery such as teeth whitening and implants are offered, too.

Elderly care

Older people who are struggling to manage on their own can choose from a number of options including residential or nursing homes, assisted living and home healthcare.

Care homes: Bupa has hundreds of care homes around the country offering round the clock support and care for their residents. Specialist care is available for patients with conditions such as dementia and Parkinson’s. Short breaks are available for recovering patients.

Retirement housing and assisted living: A great option for older people who value their independence and want to remain self-sufficient. Accommodation is available in assisted living properties, retirement villages and retirement properties.

Home healthcare: Medical experts believe that patients recover more quickly in the comfort of their own home. Bupa works in partnership with the NHS to enable post-hospital treatment to continue at home and offering a medicine home-delivery service.

Is Bupa healthcare worth it?

Unless you’re lucky enough to have private health insurance paid for by your employer, you will need to make a cost versus risk calculation. Private healthcare doesn’t come cheap and, like most private health insurers, Bupa’s health cover excludes pre-existing conditions. That means you’re deciding whether to pay for health cover based on unknown future health problems.

In most cases, private healthcare is a luxury rather than a necessity as the NHS will always provide treatment and care for free. However, because of its very existence as a free at the point of care service, the NHS is overloaded. This means that waiting lists for non-emergency consultations and treatment are long although emergencies will always be dealt with quickly.

As well as giving access to much quicker diagnosis and treatment, Bupa healthcare gives patients continuity of care with the same consultant throughout their treatment, provides hospital patients with privacy in single rooms and offers support through 24-hour helplines, none of which can be guaranteed by the NHS. The dental insurance plans help with budgeting as patients won’t be faced with hefty bills.

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