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Bupa to refund health insurance customers one month's premium after coronavirus disruption

Bupa UK health insurance customers will be refunded the equivalent of around one month's premium after coronavirus disrupted some people's planned medical treatments last year. 

A total of £125 million will be dished out from April. For the vast majority, Bupa says the rebate is expected to be the equivalent of approximately one month’s premium, although it may be more or less depending on whether premiums were paid in full or part when private treatment was disrupted.

The cash will be paid to individual and small business customers that have paid a premium between 23 March 2020 and 30 September 2020, including those whose cover has since ended. You don't need to do anything to get the money as it'll be automatically repaid into the account from which you pay your Bupa bills from. Bupa says the money will go back to former customers to if they paid a premium between the above dates.

The refunds come after some treatments due to be provided for in independent hospitals had to be delayed as the hospitals needed to be used to support the National Health Service (NHS) at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The private health insurance provider has 17.9 million customers globally. See our Coronavirus Finance and Bills guide for more info on support available to those whose finances have been hit by the crisis.

Other health insurance providers have offered refunds too

Bupa isn't the first private health insurer to offer a rebate on premiums due to disruption to service caused by the pandemic. Here's what other providers have done:

  • Aviva: Aviva told us that if, because of the coronavirus crisis, the value of its health insurance claims in 2020 and 2021 falls compared to previous years it'll refund the difference to customers.

  • AXA: Axa told us that if, because of the coronavirus crisis, the value of its health insurance claims in 2020 and 2021 combined fall compared to 2019 it'll refund the difference to customers. It says it expects to be able to pay any refunds before March 2022.

  • WPA: Customers of not-for-profit medical insurer WPA have been paid two rebates each worth about 40% of their monthly premiums. The first payment was made in April 2020 with a second following in June. has also asked Vitality if it plans to offer rebates too. We will update this story when we hear back. In June last year, several health insurers told us they'd committed to passing on any extra profits to customers. 

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