AXA PPP Healthcare

AXA Health Insurance [Review]

Who Are AXA?

In the UK, AXA traces its roots back to its foundation as the London Association for Hospital Services in 1938. The insurer launched its first recognisable Health Insurance policy, the Hospital Service Plan (HSP), in 1943.

After the NHS expanded healthcare to all free at the point of use, the company changed its name to Private Patients Plan or PPP.

axa health trustpilot reviews

AXA Health Insurance has more than 1,400 reviews on independent reviews website Trustpilot, rating it 4 stars out of 5.

Its Private Health Insurance has a 5 star Defaqto rating. In 2019, the company won the Best Direct Healthcare Provider at the Your Money Awards.

AXA’s Health Insurance

AXA Personal Health is the company’s main Private Health Insurance offering in the UK.

Policy Overview

Key Facts

Core cover from AXA Personal Health pays for inpatient treatment. It also offers some level of access to outpatient care as standard. For an additional premium you can extend the level of outpatient cover on the plan.

Read more about the difference between inpatient and outpatient cover here.

Key Policy Benefits

  • 24 / 7 remote GP access
    AXA’s Doctor@Hand is a digital GP service offering video or phone appointments with a UK-registered GP. Your consultation will be 20 minutes long. You can have up to five appointments per year with the Extended Cover option.
  • Breakthrough cancer drugs and therapies
    Access to cutting-edge cancer drugs and treatments, even when they’re not approved for NHS use due to cost.
  • Fast track physio access
    When you choose outpatient cover, AXA Working Body lets you skip a GP referral for physiotherapy for musculoskeletal problems. You get access to a physiotherapist over the phone who can discuss your symptoms and arrange treatment.
  • Health at Hand
    Offers phone calls with a team of trained nurses and counsellors via a 24 / 7 helpline to assist with smaller health concerns.
  • Dedicated heart and cancer nurses
    If you’re diagnosed with cancer or a heart condition, you get access to a dedicated team of specialist nurses over the phone to answer any medical queries you may have.
  • AXA ActivePlus
    Access to exclusive offers for policyholders such as discounted gym memberships and wearable tech.

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What Does AXA Personal Health Cover?

Inpatient and Day-Patient Treatment

Inpatient and day-patient treatment involves all medical care requiring a hospital bed. This might be overnight (inpatient) or just for the day (day-patient). This most commonly, but not exclusively, involves surgical procedures.

Inpatient & Day-Patient Coverage

Hospital treatment

Specialist / consultant fees

Tests / scans
E.g. MRIs, CT scans, PET scans, X-rays

Outpatient Treatment

All medical care not requiring a hospital bed. AXA Personal Health does not include most outpatient care as standard — it’s an optional extra you add to the policy for an additional premium.

You have two outpatient options to choose from:

  • Standard cover
    Provides up to three specialist consultations per year and unlimited diagnostic tests and scans.
  • Full cover
    No annual limit on specialist consultations, diagnostic tests or scans.

Cancer Care

Cancer cover is one of the most valuable elements of any Private Medical Insurance policy. It pays for diagnosis and treatment of cancer, including access to drugs, treatments, therapies and procedures the NHS may not yet offer due to their cost.

If you’ve previously had cancer before taking out the policy, AXA may only offer you NHS Cancer Support. This means all cancer treatment is under the NHS unless there’s a drug, treatment or therapy available that the NHS does not provide.

AXA Personal Health covers cancer as standard without any time or monetary limits on treatment. This is known as Comprehensive Cancer Cover.

Comprehensive Cancer Coverage

Chemotherapy / radiotherapy

Including at-home chemotherapy where clinically appropriate and genetic testing to match chemotherapy to your cancer

Cancer surgery

Biological and hormone therapies
E.g. Herceptin, Avastin and gosrelin

Consultant fees

Bone strengthening drugs
E.g. bisphosphonates

Proton beam therapy

In certain situations*

Stem cell / bone marrow transplants


Up to £400 per year

External prostheses

Up to £5,000 per year

Monitoring / followups
E.g. consultations, reviews and procedures such as colonoscopies after eligible cancer treatment

Genetic testing for cancer risk

Accelerated charged particle therapies

Preventative treatment
E.g. preventative mastectomy

*Only for brain and spinal cord cancer or malignant solid cancers in those under 21; certain spinal cancers in the base of the skull or neck bones that have not spread; and cancer of the iris, ciliary body or choroid parts of the eye which have not spread

End of Life Care

If your cancer cannot be cured, AXA will continue to offer care to help relieve pain, such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy or surgery to fit stents or drain fluid. AXA will also pay £100 as a donation to a hospice where you’re receiving end of life care.

Hospital List

AXA has a single directory of hospitals which covers a good range of private facilities across the UK.

View AXA’s hospital list here.

Medical Underwriting Options

When you apply for Health Insurance as an individual, you choose how you want your insurer to underwrite you.

AXA has two medical underwriting options:

  • Full medical underwriting
    You disclose your medical history when you take out the policy
  • Moratorium underwriting
    AXA won’t ask for any medical details until you submit a claim.

These are two very different options which can impact the way your insurer decides on exclusions for any pre-existing conditions you may have. The best underwriting for you depends on your circumstances.

Read more about the difference between full medical underwriting and moratorium underwriting here.

You can also switch to AXA from another provider on continued underwriting terms on a continued personal medical exclusions basis.

Joe Toft, health & wellbeing expert at Drewberry

Our AXA clients also see real value in the Doctor@Hand and Health@Hand services which are included with the cover. A Digital GP service and support line which gives access to qualified nurses and counsellors 24/7.

Joseph Toft
Health and Wellbeing Expert

Additional Benefits

AXA includes these as standard with Health Insurance:

  • Private ambulance
    Covers the cost of transportation if you require an ambulance transfer.
  • NHS inpatient cash benefit
    If you opt to have inpatient treatment that your policy would have covered on the NHS rather than using your Health Insurance, AXA pays £50 per night up to £2,000 per year for time you spend as an NHS inpatient.
  • NHS cancer treatment benefit
    If you have Comprehensive Cancer Cover but opt to have day-patient or outpatient chemotherapy or radiotherapy on the NHS, AXA will pay a benefit of £50 a day up to £2,000 a year while you’re under NHS care. This is providing your policy would cover the cancer treatment you’re having under the NHS.
  • Oral surgery
    Pays for removal of impacted teeth or cysts of the jaw as well as reinserting a tooth after a trauma.
  • Parent accommodation
    If a child (aged under 16) covered by your plan has eligible inpatient treatment under the policy, AXA pays for one parent to stay with your child in the hospital. It will also pay up to £100 per night, up to £500 per year, in hotel costs for one parent to stay near a private hospital where a child under 16 is having eligible treatment.
  • Child ear corrective surgery
    Pays for one operation for a child (aged under 14) covered by the plan to correct prominent (bat) ears.
  • Port-wine stain birthmark correction
    Pays for laster treatment to improve the look of a port-wine stain birthmark on the face of a child covered by the policy who is aged under 14.
  • Child speech therapy
    Up to six sessions per year of speech therapy for a child under 14 who requires it as a result of developmental delay.

AXA Medical Insurance FAQs

  • Are There Any Optional Extras That Can Be Added?

    You have the option to add the following benefits to your policy for an additional premium:


    Pays for up to ten sessions of treatment by a physiotherapist, acupuncturist, homeopath, osteopath or chiropractor when a GP or Working Body refers you. If a specialist refers you, AXA will cover further sessions at their discretion.

    Mental Health

    This pays for psychiatric care, including:

    • Inpatient and day-patient fees in full when receiving mental healthcare
    • Full cover for specialist fees for psychiatric treatment as an inpatient, day-patient or outpatient.
    • Full cover for outpatient treatment by psychologists, psychiatrists and cognitive behavioural therapists.

    Dental and Optical Cashback

    This covers:

    • Up to 80% of your dental fees, to a maximum of £400 per year
    • Up to 80% of the cost of prescribed glasses / contact lenses, to a maximum of £200 per year
    • Eye tests up to £25 per year.

    Extended Cover Option

    This includes:

    • Extra cover for treatment at any UK hospital, day-patient unit or scanning centre not in AXA’s hospital list. This is up to the amount they would have paid for that treatment in a facility in their hospital list
    • Up to £500 in fees for visits to a private GP for consultations
    • Up to five consultations per year via Doctor@Hand.
  • Are There Any Exclusions?

    AXA Private Medical Insurance has exclusions that are fairly standard to those across the industry. For example, they include:

    • Pre-existing conditions
    • Chronic conditions
    • Normal pregnancy and childbirth
    • Cosmetic / weight loss surgery
    • Chiropody, foot care or podiatry
    • Birth control
    • Infertility treatment
    • Gender reassingment
    • Kidney dialysis (unless for up to 6 weeks while you’re being prepared for a kidney transplant)
    • Alcohol / substance abuse
    • Treatment for nuclear, biological or chemical contamination.
  • Do I Have to Pay Towards My Treatment?

    AXA offers the option to add an excess to your policy, which is the sum of money you agree to pay upfront towards your private medical care. The higher your excess, the lower your monthly premiums.

    The excesses AXA offers are:

    • £100
    • £250
    • £500
    • £1,000
    • £2,500
    • £5,000.

    The £1,000, £2,500 and £5,000 excess options are only available where you have the full outpatient cover option.

    You pay your excess once per policy year. That means you can claim for multiple eligible conditions in a single policy year and only pay your excess once.

    Read more about Health Insurance excesses here.

How Does AXA Compare?

No Claims Discount

AXA’s no claims discount works on a seventeen tier system. The maximum premium discount you can receive on the top tier is 80%.

If you make a claim, your no claims discount tier falls by three tiers. If you go a year without claiming, it increases by one tier.

With AXA any claim, no matter how low in value, impacts your no claims discount. There are a few exceptions to this, including if you have private treatment below the cost of your excess and therefore meet the entire cost of that care yourself.

Other exceptions include:

  • Claims for the NHS treatment and NHS cancer treatment benefits
  • Doctor@Hand consultations
  • Claims under the Therapies option if you’ve added this to your policy
  • Cashback for optician or dental fees, if you’ve added this to your policy
  • Claims for speech therapy.

NHS Cancer Support

If you’ve previously had cancer before taking out an AXA Health Insurance policy, AXA will typically only offer you cancer care on the NHS Cancer Support basis.

This means the policy won’t cover cancer in most instances and you’ll have to use the NHS for cancer care.

The only time AXA will step in to provide cancer treatment on this basis is if the NHS does not provide a licensed cancer drug / treatment you require.

High Optional Excesses

The £2,500 and £5,000 excesses with full outpatient cover are among the highest optional excesses in the industry.

While expensive to pay upfront if you ever needed to claim, they could significantly reduce your premiums.

6 Week NHS Wait

An option to keep costs down by only paying for private inpatient treatment if the NHS wait exceeds 6 weeks.

Proton Beam Therapy

Opting for comprehensive cover AXA will pay for cutting edge treatment like proton beam therapy to treat certain cancers.

AXA pays for proton beam therapy in the following cases:

  • Where a covered member aged under 21 has brain or spinal core cancer or a malignant solid cancer
  • For treatment of chordomas or chondrosarcomas (types of spinal cancer) in the base of the skull or neck bones which has not spread
  • For treatment of cancer of the iris, ciliary body or choroid parts of the eye (uveal melanoma) which has not spread.

Dedicated Heart and Cancer Nurses

If doctors diagnose you with a heart condition or cancer, AXA gives you access to a dedicated team of cardiac or cancer nurses. You can discuss your condition, symptoms and treatment whenever you need.

Fast Track Physio Access

AXA lets you skip a GP referral for physiotherapy for musculoskeletal complaints via its Working Body program. This gets you fast access to care exactly when you need it the most.

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How Much Does AXA Health Insurance Cost?

To help you better understand the cost of health insurance we’ve provided example premiums. These costs vary by age, for basic and comprehensive cover as detailed below.

To get these quotes we have assumed that the individual looking for cover:

  • Is in a low risk office based role
  • Wants an excess of £100
  • Is a non-smoker

35 Years Old

45 Years Old

55 Years Old

Basic Cover




Comprehensive Cover




Health insurance quotes accurate as of March 2022

Get AXA Health Insurance Quotes & Expert Advice

As you can see when it comes to putting Health Insurance in place there are lots of points to consider. With so many factors and a lot of different terminology at play, it can be tricky to know exactly what you need.

If you’re unsure its always best to speak with an expert such as one of the team here at Drewberry. They can talk you through all your options and make sure you get the most suitable protection for your circumstances.

You can also compare the top UK providers in seconds using our handy health insurance quote tool 😊 →

Why Speak to Us…

We started Drewberry™ because we were tired of being treated like a number.

We all deserve a first class service when it comes to issues as important as protecting our health. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

  • There is no fee for our service
  • We are an award winning 🏆 independent insurance broker who works with all the leading UK insurers
  • You’ll speak to a dedicated expert from start to finish
  • We are very proud of the 3748 and growing independent client reviews rating us at 4.92 / 5
  • Claims support when you need it most.
  • We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You can find us on the financial services register here 🧐
  • Claims support when you need it most.

If you have an existing AXA plan you want to review or are considering medical insurance don’t hesitate to get in touch. Give us a call on 02074425880 or email

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