Bupa has this week advised that £125m will be rebated to its UK customers following disruption to medical treatment during the pandemic last year. The rebate is expected to represent roughly one month’s premium to both individual and business health insurance customers.
Whilst treatment for critical conditions such as heart and cancer continued throughout the pandemic, some independent hospitals were commandeered by the NHS in order to support high hospitalisation rates caused by Covid. This meant that many non-urgent but essential treatments couldn’t be conducted as planned, resulting in insurers making higher than expected profits.
During the height of the pandemic, Bupa pledged to pass back any exceptional financial benefit ultimately arising from the impact of Covid-19 to its UK health insurance customers, and many have been waiting to hear when this would be fulfilled.
It is understood that Individual health insurance and business health insurance customers who paid a premium between 23rd March and 30th September 2020 will qualify for the rebate, and that there is nothing customers need to do for the rebate to be made.
Bupa is among a number of UK health insurance providers who will have seen an exceptional reduction in claims costs during 2020, and it’s been fantastic to see how every insurer rallied to make their services remote friendly and ensure that customers could still access a range of other value-added benefits throughout a challenging period.
Of those other insurers, WPA (Western Provident Association) were the first to act in paying rebates to their customers, issuing two payments (April and June) equating to circa 40% of the customers monthly premium.
AXA Health, Aviva and Vitality are yet to confirm if and when refunds will be made to their own customers but have indicated that it is being reviewed.