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Coronavirus: Guidance for Bupa Global customers

Last updated: 19 March 2020

Guidance for Bupa Global customers

We share the public’s concern about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and have dedicated teams monitoring this evolving situation closely, following updates from the World Health Organisation and national health authorities like Public Health England. We are keeping this page updated and you can find rolling updates from the WHO on the coronavirus at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen.

Due to the COVID 19 Pandemic we have had to change the way that we work and reduce staffing in some offices in order to protect our staff and comply with government guidance. We would like to thank all of our valued customers for their support at this time and reassure you that we have a robust Business Continuity Plan that we have tested.

During this unprecedented time we ask you to consider the following when contacting us in order to allow us to prioritise the customers who need us the most;

We ask that during this time you avoid sending us documents via the post. Claims should be uploaded via our MembersWorld site. Any claims sent by post will be subject to considerable delay.

Please also note that documents that we usually send to you may be delayed including enrolment packs, renewal packs and claims statements. We would like to reassure you that all documents can be found on our MembersWorld page.

Please note that many of our services including uploading claims, accessing documentation and requesting a pre auth are available on MembersWorld, please click here to register or log in.


Our priority remains our customers and people around the world and ensuring their health and safety is paramount. A focus on continued service and care to our customers and patients is at the forefront of all our contingency planning. Bupa customers can be reassured that our preparations seek to minimise impact to the services they receive.

We have business continuity plans in place, which we’re actively testing, to ensure we’re ready to continue to serve customers in a range of scenarios. We’re also closely managing our levels of supplies, equipment and additional resources to ensure we are in the best position possible to support our customers, patients and people.

We have also implemented response protocols across all of our sites, including clinics and offices, to ensure we are prepared to manage suspected COVID-19 cases should they present. We have also placed restrictions on business travel to, or through, China, Iran, Daegu or Cheongdo provinces in the Republic of Korea or any area within Italy under containment measures and will continually review and update these restrictions as the circumstances develop.

Up to date information can be found at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

For general enquiries or if you have a question that isn’t answered here, please get in touch on info@bupa-intl.com. Our team are ready to respond to any questions promptly.

If your question is related to a travel policy you can contact us at travel@ihi-bupa.com.

Am I covered?

You can find all the detail about your health plan on our self-service portals and our team is always available to answer questions about your insurance cover and claims.

If you’ve purchased travel insurance with us you can find all the details of how you’re covered in your policy documents on myPage or on our website www.bupaglobal.com/travel.

For travel customers on employer provided travel insurance you can find details of your policy here

Who can I speak to?

If you have any questions you can email our customer services team on info@bupa-intl.com. In an emergency, you can call our 24/7 Customer Service Team on
+44 (0)1273 323 563. If required, we can connect you to one of our qualified nurses and doctors for health information related to the novel coronavirus.

For our customers on employer provided plans you have access to the Global Virtual Care app where you can schedule a virtual consultation or request a call back from a local doctor in multiple languages including English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Download Global Virtual Care from either the App Store or Google Play and sign in using your Bupa Global MembersWorld login details. You can register for MembersWorld here.

For travel customers you can email our travel customer services team on travel@ihi-bupa.com. In an emergency, you can call our 24/7 Bupa Global Assistance Team on +45 70 23 24 61.

You can also access details of your travel insurance documents through the Bupa Global Travel myCard app which can be downloaded from Google Play and App Store.

Travel advice

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that travellers who are sick, elderly or have pre-existing health conditions should avoid travelling to areas affected by coronavirus.

If you’re returning from a country affected by coronavirus, the WHO recommends monitoring your symptoms carefully for 14 days and following the national guidance for the country you’re in now. This should be available online, for example on the government website for the country you are in. If you have symptoms, such as a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, please follow the national guidance for the country you're in now as you may be required to self-isolate. Some countries may require all travellers coming from certain areas to enter quarantine and some countries are currently advising against all foreign travel and introducing travel bans from some countries.

Source: World Health Organisation

Is there specific advice that I need to follow?

Dr Luke James, Medical Director for Bupa Global and UK Insurance, explains what the coronavirus is and precautions you can take to protect yourself. We’re keeping this information up to date.

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization received reports of pneumonia of an unknown cause in Wuhan City in China. Authorities in China quickly identified the cause as a new (or novel) strain of coronavirus in early January.

The coronavirus outbreak has been widely reported in the news. Understandably, when news like this hits the headlines, it’s natural to feel worried.

But it’s important to remember that globally the situation is being closely monitored, and there are plans in place to manage a potential outbreak of diseases like this.

Here I’ll explain what the coronavirus is…

What is the coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause illnesses such as the common cold, to more severe conditions such as pneumonia, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory syndrome (SARS). The strain of coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has caused the outbreak in China is new, and not previously known. It has been named Covid-19 by the World Health Organization.

What causes coronavirus?

Coronavirus spreads from person to person but it's not yet known exactly how this happens. Similar viruses spread through the air, in droplets when someone coughs.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms of this coronavirus include:

  • fever (high temperature of 37.8C or above)
  • new continuous cough
  • shortness of breath; and
  • breathing difficulties

In more severe cases the virus can cause pneumonia, SARS (a severe form of pneumonia), kidney failure and death. It’s important to note though that most cases so far seem to have been mild. The most serious cases seem to have happened in people with pre-existing health conditions.

Who is affected?

Cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in a number of countries around the world. Cases are being confirmed on an ongoing basis, with the World Health Organization (WHO) keeping a situation map updated to show which countries have been affected.

How can I protect myself and others?

No matter where you are in the world, there are standard hygiene recommendations from the World Health Organization that can help contain the spread of this and other similar illnesses:

  • Wash your hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or a tissue. Then throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands
  • Maintain social distancing, stay at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
  • Clean surfaces in the household that are touched often
  • Stay home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Further information

Clearly the situation is a rapidly changing one and further up to date information can be found at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019