Bupa: Profit claims 'irresponsible' and 'simply untrue'

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Bupa has joined Private Healthcare Australia and Medibank in slamming CHOICE over its claim insurers have profited as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It is simply untrue to state that insurers 'pocketed $1 billion in the space of 42 days' when profits projected at the beginning of the crisis have not eventuated," said Bupa in a statement.

The insurer said the profit claims were "irresponsible". It described them as "simply untrue" and "a source of misinformation during a challenging and stressful time for millions of Australians."

"We have provided more than $184m in financial assistance and savings direct to customers and there has been no 'super profits' as claimed," said Bupa.

The insurer said the pause on non-urgent elective surgery and some ancillary services lasted for six weeks, as opposed to the several months that were originally projected, and that during that period it still paid out over $280 million on almost 100,000 episodes of hospital care for around 70,000 of its members.

Bupa said CHOICE had ignored information it provided in writing.

"At a time when the health and finances of everyday Australians are being challenged, we are extremely disappointed that CHOICE would seek to mislead consumers," it said.