Bupa is expanding its range of dental insurance benefits to include “virtual” dental assessments, as well as remote emergency support.
A spokesman for the insurer said that the new benefits will give customers different options to access oral care and encourage patients to seek dental care treatment they need, without having to leave home.
| Bupa’s ‘virtual’ dentist proposition|
* No need to leave home
* Customers offered virtual
* Remote consultations also
available for emergencies
* Additional benefits covered for
face-to-face dental appointments
Through camera and video technology, members will be able to send in images and videos through the service. A dentist will then review them and build a personalised assessment report based on individual oral health risks and offer suggested care and treatment options.
The spokesman said that dental insurance customers who are midway through treatment or have an emergenc, can also access remote emergency dental support. Consultations will be available either by telephone or a video appointment, even if they are not currently registered with a Bupa Dental Care dentist.
The service is complimentary for Bupa insurance customers and does not impact benefit limits.
Official public health guidelines for the reopening of practices require dentists to implement additional safety measures to keep patients and dentists “COVID-safe”. This includes all patients, clinical and practice teams wearing enhanced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to minimise the risk of cross contamination during treatments.
If customers do need to visit the dentist in person but are not Bupa members, they will need to pay the additional PPE tariff of either £7 or £40, depending on the type of treatment being carried out.
The Bupa spokesman said that Bupa members, though, will now cover the exceptional costs of PPE for treatment up to its customers benefit limits until the end of 2020. This means Bupa will pay for the cost of treatment and the additional PPE costs out of the relevant treatment benefit, providing it is within benefit limits.
The spokesman said that since the outbreak of COVID-19, Bupa is now spending 100 times more on PPE than it did in 2019.
Richard Norris, Director of Bupa Dental Insurance, said the insurer has seen demand for remote access services expand “exponentially” during COVID-19.
He added: “We are continuing to look at ways that we can provide continued care for our customers.
“We have introduced these new dental insurance benefits to ensure customers don’t delay seeking help for dental health worries, because it means leaving home to get help or having difficulty getting a face-to-face appointment.
“Whatever the dental concern, whether emergency or routine, we want to help our patients get the care they need.”