Bupa has welcomed the launch of the federal government’s Medical Costs Finder website describing it as a "significant step forward in improving the visibility of out of pocket costs, average specialist fees, and a typical breakdown of the Medicare and private health insurance payments which may impact out of pocket costs."
The website recently launched with the initial version providing a range of details on average out-of-pocket costs.
According to the insurer's director of Health Partnerships and Innovation, Cindy Shay, “Bupa supports initiatives that promote financial transparency and empower consumers to make informed decisions about their healthcare. We are hopeful that, in time, the website will also include specific information about specialists and their billing practices to provide a more complete picture.
“The website is also an important resource in demonstrating the value of private health insurance through visual breakdowns of insurer contributions and the percentage of patients who experienced a gap-free procedure.”
Bupa said the website complements some of its own initiatives that are designed to help its members avoid ‘bill shock’ following common hospital procedures.
“We understand the cost of living pressures many Australians are living under. As such, we are proud to have established extensive arrangements with Private Hospitals and Specialists offering customers no gap or known-gap services,” said Ms Shay.
Bupa’ website hosts a procedure calculator that also incorporates hospital admission fees when using a Bupa Members First or Network Hospital with no additional co-payment.
“Ultimately, the best way for consumers to avoid ‘bill shock’ and minimise costs is by being proactive and ensuring they are receiving the appropriate cover for their stage of life and healthcare needs,” continued Ms Shay.
“Our health insurance team are able to identify all specialists with no or known-gap fee structures. Members can then compile a list for discussion with their referring GP,” she added.