Bupa members are being urged to review their health cover if they want to avoid additional out-of-pocket costs at Nowra Private Hospital in the future.
There is just over one week to go until the contract is due to end between Bupa and hospital operator Ramsay Health Care.
Nowra Private Hospital CEO, Prue Buist, said she was disappointed patients insured with Bupa could soon face additional out-of-pocket costs.
“Everyone at Nowra Private Hospital has been working tirelessly during the pandemic to care for the local community, especially its most vulnerable members,” Ms Buist said.
“Hospitals are faced with increasing costs of labour and supplies. We have provided PPE, increased our cleaning, and delivered additional infection prevention training to our staff. This increase in vigilance and ensuring patient safety comes at a significant cost.
“In negotiations around rate increases, health funds must acknowledge the increasing wage and supply costs required to ensure ongoing quality patient care.
“Unfortunately we are concerned that reaching an agreement with Bupa is unlikely before the 2 August deadline, meaning Bupa patients accessing Nowra Private Hospital in the future may be required to pay the shortfall between Bupa’s benefits and the treatment costs, as an additional out-of-pocket expense.
“We want local Bupa members to be informed about the situation now so they have time to look at their options and work out what is best for them.”
Bupa patients wanting to access Nowra Private Hospital may like to consider reviewing their private health insurance to ensure they know what they’re covered for. Nowra Private Hospital has agreements with all other private health insurers in Australia.
By law, consumers changing funds won’t have to re-serve the waiting periods for hospital benefits again if retaining the same level of hospital cover. More information is available in the Ombudsman’s Right to Change brochure: bit.ly/RightToChange2022
Ramsay Health Care’s goal has been to reach a fair and sustainable agreement with Bupa that removes the need for additional out-of-pocket costs to be passed on to patients.
More information is available at www.protectyourcover.com.au.