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.
Guardian Royal Exchange Insurance acquired PPP Healthcare in 1998. Then, in 1999, Sun Life & Provincial Holdings, part of French multinational insurance giant the AXA Group, subsequently bought Guardian Royal Exchange Insurance. This resulted in PPP becoming part of the AXA Group.
AXA PPP remained one of AXA’s UK brands until 2014, when the company brought together three brands — AXA PPP Healthcare, Health-on-Line and AXA ICAS — under a new umbrella known as AXA Health.
Its Private Health Insurance has a 5 star Defaqto rating and, in 2019, the company won the Best Direct Healthcare Provider at the Your Money Awards.
AXA Personal Health is the company’s main Private Health Insurance offering in the UK.
Core cover from AXA Personal Health pays for inpatient treatment. It also offers some level of access to outpatient care as standard, with the option to add more outpatient cover on to the plan for an additional premium.
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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
Specialist / consultant fees
Tests / scans
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:
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.
AXA Personal Health covers cancer as standard without any time or monetary limits on treatment. This is known as Comprehensive Cancer Cover.
IMPORTANT NOTICE 🧐
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.
Comprehensive Cancer Coverage
Chemotherapy / radiotherapy
Biological and hormone therapies
Bone strengthening drugs
Proton beam therapy
Stem cell / bone marrow transplants
Monitoring / followups
Genetic testing for cancer risk
Accelerated charged particle therapies
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.
AXA has a single directory of hospitals which covers a good range of private facilities across the UK.
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:
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.
You can also switch to AXA from another provider on continued underwriting terms on a continued personal medical exclusions basis.
AXA includes these as standard with Health Insurance:
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.
Health and Wellbeing Expert
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.
This pays for psychiatric care, including:
AXA Private Medical Insurance has exclusions that are fairly standard to those across the industry. For example, they include:
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:
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.
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:
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.
The £2,500 and £5,000 excesses, although only available with the full outpatient cover option, are still among the highest optional excesses in the industry.
While they would be expensive to pay upfront if you ever needed to claim, if you have the means to pay them they could help significantly reduce premiums.
AXA offers the 6 week NHS wait option, which can be a way of keeping costs down by only paying for private inpatient treatment if the NHS wait for that treatment exceeds 6 weeks.
Assuming you have Comprehensive Cancer Cover, AXA specifically states in its policy documents that it pays for the cutting edge treatment proton beam therapy to treat certain types of cancer in certain circumstances.
AXA pays for proton beam therapy in the following cases:
If doctors diagnose you with a heart condition or cancer, AXA gives you access to a dedicated team of cardiac or cancer nurses to discuss your condition, symptoms and treatment whenever you need.
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.
As you can see, when you’re looking to compare private medical insurance there are lots of points to consider. With so many factors and a lot of different terminology at play, it can be tricky to do an accurate like-for-like comparison between providers.
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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.
If you have an existing AXA plan and would like to review or you are looking at medical insurance for the first time give us a call on 02074425880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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