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Wangaratta and Shepparton locals warned they risk additional out-of-pocket hospital costs in the future if insured with Bupa

August 03, 2022

Bupa members in north east Victoria are being urged to review their health cover if they want to avoid additional out-of-pocket costs at some of the regions leading private health care providers, including Wangaratta and Shepparton Private Hospitals.

he calls come as the contract between hospital operator Ramsay Health Care and the health insurer came to an end yesterday (2 August 2022). 

Ramsay and Bupa have been unable to reach agreement on key elements of a new contract, including the indexation rate which enables private hospitals to cover increased costs of providing quality patient care. 

Wangaratta and Shepparton Private Hospitals CEO, Rhys Jones, said it was disappointing but necessary after Bupa offered Ramsay a rate of indexation significantly below inflation.

Hospitals have faced enormous challenges through Covid protecting our patients and staff, providing appropriate PPE, increasing our cleaning, and ensuring additional infection prevention training for our staff and doctors. This increase in vigilance and ensuring patient safety comes at a significant cost,” Mr Jones said. 

Since Bupa’s indexation rate will not cover the cost of care for its members in Ramsay hospitals, additional out-of-pocket costs will soon apply to Bupa-insured patients.

“We’re committed to continuing to provide quality care for our patients, including the ageing communities here in the north east. But this isn’t possible without appropriate agreements in place with health insurers.  

“We know that like us, members of our community are facing increasing cost of living pressures right now, so we want local Bupa members to be informed about the situation, so they can review their health cover now and work out what is best for them.” 

Mr Jones said Bupa-insured patients can avoid paying these additional out-of-pocket costs by changing health funds

Ramsay has agreements with all other private health funds in Australia, where this additional out of pocket cost won’t apply.”

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.

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