DID you know that Bupa is now an affiliate member of the Australian Funeral Directors Association?
Bupa is a global ‘not for profit’ aged care and private health fund giant. It recently rebranded private health funds MBF, HBA and Mutual Community under the one Bupa umbrella and now owns 47 nursing homes across the country through acquisitions over the last few years.
News of the affiliation between the large health and aged care service provider and the funeral industry peak body made CPSA’s ears prick up.
Funeral providers love cosying up to nursing homes – or ‘building relationships’ as they would have you call it – because it can provide easy access to a seemingly captive market.
When an aged care resident dies, the home may encourage the family to use the services of that provider. The concern arises because this has the potential to limit people’s capacity to search for a more affordable funeral and, in the long run, can also limit competition between funeral providers.
So when one of Australia’s larger nursing home providers and second largest health insurance provider, Bupa, is accepted as an affiliate member of a peak funeral industry body, the AFDA, concerns about such practices can only increase.