AXA health insurance review

Health insurance is one of the most often used types of insurances.

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Health insurance is one of the most often used types of insurances. Health is fragile and everyone has or may have health issues in the future it is a wise choice to consider buying a health insurance policy in order to avoid paying huge medical bills and living on a tight budget.

One of the leading providers of health insurance in United Kingdom is “AXA PPP”. It is a subsidiary company of “AXA” which specialises in health insurance services. “AXA PPP” was created on behalf of some segments of Guardian Royal Exchange company that was acquired by “AXA” in 1940. It is one of the biggest health insurance providers in United Kingdom, which is in health insurance market for more than 70 years.

“AXA PPP” offers a lot of different healthcare insurance options and covers 250 hospitals and about 400 scan centres. Medical costs for patients who are treated in these hospitals and scan centres are covered. This coverage depends on the benefits of health insurance that the patients have and individuals can choose ay hospital or scan centre for the medical treatment. “AXA PPP” allows the clients to choose from international, local and regional plans. Moreover, AXA PPP is a wise choice as it offers various discounts if the person did not had claims on their policy. Discounts are also applied to new clients.

Personal Medical Insurance Health Care Plans

AXA Assure Choice

This plan offers basic insurance and by choosing Assure Choice an individual gets his hospital stays and operations covered. The benefits that are also included in this plan are in-patient and day-patient treatments as well as out-patient surgical procedures. Moreover this plan covers such procedures as CT, MRI as well as PET scans and includes Dedicated Nurse support service. Dedicated Nurse is a personal support and assistance service. This plan offers the least benefits compared to others AXA PPP healthcare plans, however, it can be mentioned that because of that it requires the lowest premium to be paid.

AXA Ideal Choice

We compare plans from the leading health insurance providers

This plans offers everything that is included in Assure Choice plan. However, it also includes coverage for additional out-patient treatment as well as diagnostic tests, consultations and practitioner’s charges. The coverage that is offered is up to £ 900. In other words, if person total costs for the procedure are more than £ 900, then the difference should has to be paid the patient. Moreover, it should be mentioned that it also covers psychotherapy and the treatment from psychiatric illness. This benefit is also up to £ 900 of total costs. It is also important notice that because of additional benefits this plan is more expensive than Assure Choice plan.

AXA The Premier Choice

The Premier Choice health insurance plan is the top and most expensive “AXA PPP” health insurance plan. It offers everything that is included in Ideal Choice plan. However, there are no limitations to the coverage of costs. In other words, if the costs for diagnostics, consultations or practitioner’s charges are higher than £ 900, “AXA PPP” covers all these costs. This is the biggest difference from Ideal Choice plan, where the sum of more than £900 would be paid by policy holder himself.

However Premier Choice also has some limitations that are connected not to the amount of costs covered but to the number of visits to the hospital or scan centres. By choosing Premier Choice plan, the individual must remember than only the costs of maximum 10 visits to  GP-referred complementary practitioner and clinical practitioner are covered.

Additional Benefits for “AXA PPP” healthcare policies’ holders

There are few incentive programs that are offered for “AXA PPP” healthcare insurance clients. These benefits are: 40 percents “No Claim” discount and 6 week option. There can also be additional benefits for those who are leaving their company and for people who obtain quote for healthcare services online.

40 percents of “No Claim” discount is offered for every police holder who did not make any claims. If the individual continues not to make any claims than the discount gets higher and it is possible to acquire up to 50 percents discount for a healthcare insurance plan. Once the person makes the claim he looses bonus discount but by making no claims after that the discount gets higher

AXA Cash Plan

Cash or cashback plan is constructed in such way that for small additional premium (now it is 20p per day and free for people under 18) such health care expenses as dental or optical check-ups or treatment are covered. This plan also covers various out-patient consultations, physiotherapy or even acupuncture. The main point of this plan is to offer insurance for those service that usually can are costly and can cause financial problems for the person. Thus, for small fee people can insure themselves and avoid additional unexpected healthcare expenses that could be quite costly for a family with lower budget.

Moreover, a person could even to refuse necessary medical check-up or treatment because of the costs. A good example would be if the individual hurt his back and considers not going to the physiotherapist because of the additional expenses. With cashback plan he can claim for up to £ 390 a year to cover such medical expenses. Other coverage limitations are for dental treatment or per night of hospital stays.

Cash Plan Options

There are three levels of a cashback plan: bronze, silver and gold. The difference between these three plans lies in the size of monthly payments and the limits of treatment covered by the insurance company. Each plan encompasses three areas of medical treatment: professional care, hospital care and additional benefits. Premiums for bronze level cover start from £6.2 per month, for silver level cover – £9.56 per month and for gold level cover – £14.34 per month. The detailed cover list can be found on the website of AXA PPP but in general silver plan offers the cover of medical expenses twice bigger than the cover of bronze plan.

What is more, patients that bought gold plan can get a cover approximately three times bigger than the cover they would get under the bronze plan. For example, bronze level insurance policy covers dental treatment (other than because of an accident) up to £ 45, silver level plan – up to £ 90 and gold level – up to £ 135. A person can choose any of these plans according to his needs and financial ability to make monthly payments.

Child Medical Insurance

First Healthcare is a plan designed by “AXA PPP” for parents who want to insure their children. The only requirement for joining this policy is to be under 18. “AXA PPP” offers this insurance from £ 12.99 per month when parents want to insure 1 child and  £ 11.99 per child when parents want to insure more than one children. Plan covers in-patient, day-patient and out-patient procedures. In-patient and day-patient include consultation fees, diagnostic tests on specialist referral, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and treatment in any hospital in United Kingdom.

Unfortunately, in-patient and out-patient procedures do not include psychiatric treatment. Out-patient  procedures include surgical procedures, consultations with a specialist, diagnostic test on specialist referral, CT (computerized tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and PET (positron emission tomography) scans. Radiotherapy, chemotherapy and physiotherapy are included in out-patient procedures only before the diagnosis. If these procedures are performed before an official diagnosis of a specialist than the costs incurred will not be covered by this insurance.

Moreover, all the costs of out-patient treatment after the diagnosis will be covered only when the treatment was received within three months of related in-patient or day-patient treatment. The insurance policy also covers the costs of  private ambulance cost, parental stay at hospital with children who are not 14 and younger and a private nurse that takes care of intravenous chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer or intravenous antibiotics at home.

First Healthcare Contract

“AXA” PPP also created a very simple procedure to make a claim on First Healthcare insurance contract. If the child is feeling bad the first step is to visit GP (general pediatric) where the child will be referred to a specialist. The second step is to call “AXA PPP” insurance company before arranging for any treatment. “AXA PPP” has to check if the conditions of the contract allow to cover the costs of the treatment. A partially filled form will be send to the parents and when the parents and the doctor agree on the treatment of the child a doctor has to fill the rest of the form. After “AXA PPP” gets the form that is fully filled then the bills are settled with the doctor that provides the treatment.

However, despite low monthly premiums and wide coverage area First Healthcare plan has some limitations that are important to know before purchasing this insurance contract. The plan does not cover costs incurred because of routine pregnancy and childbirth, ongoing treatment of long term illnesses, psychiatric treatment, general dental procedures, complementary practitioner treatment and treatment of medical conditions that existed before signing a contract. What is more, if the fees charged by specialist or clinical practitioner are above the level that is stated in the “AXA PPP” price list, these costs are also not covered.

Heart Diseases and Cancer Commitment

“AXA PPP” also offers insurance from heart diseases and cancer. Even if the person is insured by AXA PPP health insurance, he cannot be guaranteed that he is going to get the most advanced possible treatment from such illnesses as they are very costly and usually takes very long time. In such case an individual can cover himself by Heart Diseases and Cancer Commitment. The treatment is fully covered no matter what stage of the cancer is diagnosed.

What Is Covered by Heart Diseases and Cancer Commitment

The covered areas can be divided into seven groups: diagnostic tests, treatment, experimental drugs, experimental treatment, cancer follow ups, heart surgery follow ups and out-patient cancer costs.

Diagnostic tests include x-rays and tests to diagnose the cancer. Also if it is provided in the policy CT, MRI and PET scanning costs are also covered.  When it comes to normal treatment, Heart Diseases and Cancer Commitment cover costs of all chemotherapy and radiotherapy as well as cancer treatment including secondaries. Furthermore, all licensed cancer drugs, biological therapies, are covered as well. This insurance policy also offers cover of bone scans, bisphosphonate and hormone treatment costs, but only during active treatment.

Moreover, if person‘s condition is very bad and he wants to participate in clinical experiments by using experimental drugs or unproven surgery, it can be agreed by both sides that if such treatment is necessary or can have better results compared to the original treatment that is offered then the costs would be covered as well. Reimbursement costs will be treated as regular treatment costs and are covered as well.

Furthermore, the last three covered categories are cancer follow ups, heart surgery follow ups and out-patient costs. For cancer follow ups the policy guarantees that all visits and consultations for follow ups are covered and there is no time limit for that. Heart diseases and Cancer Commitment also cover such heart surgery follow ups as coronary heart bypass, cardiac valve treatment, implantable devices (best examples are defibrillators and pacemakers) and coronary angioplasty. As for out-patient costs cash spent for cancer treatment costs will not be taken from out-patient benefit limit indicated in the policy.

It can also be mentioned that 24-hour help service is offered for Heart Diseases and Cancer Commitment policy holders as well as clinical support during the cancer treatment or heart surgery and their follow ups. This means that during cancer treatment experienced and constant support is offered. Moreover, there is possibility to claim for extra expenses such as: for external prosthesis (up to £5000) during active treatment and for wigs (up to £150). It can also be pointed out that for each night of hospice care charitable donation of up to £100 is made.

International Cover

An international health insurance cover is designed by AXA PPP for those people who spend a lot of time outside United Kingdom. In some countries, especially less developed, public medical care can be inaccessible or incapable of providing sufficient treatment. An alternative to this would be private hospitals or other medical facilities. However, this option can be very costly. For example a heart bypass operation in United States costs approximately $144,000 whereas in India only $8,500.

Of course it can be argued that USA can provide better quality of this procedure and the facilities there are better suited for this medical treatment. However, if a person came to USA from a less wealthy country, then paying for a heart bypass operation can seem like unbearable financial commitment. Even for the citizens of USA this amount of money is huge. These are the main reasons why international cover is important for people who travel abroad a lot. AXA PPP international health cover allows people to receive medical cover as well as to take advantage of global network of regional offices, hospitals and local language specialists.

Moreover, AXA PPP offers two areas of insurance: worldwide and worldwide excluding USA. Whichever type of international health insurance is chosen an individual can be sure that he will be insured not only in his residence country but also in any country within the chosen area of coverage. For example, a citizen of United Kingdom works in France and spends there most of his time. During his holiday he decided to travel to South Korea and got injured there. In this case international health cover is applicable and does not have to be purchased separately for every other country the person stays in. Besides these advantages, an individual can choose from prestige, comprehensive and standard plans.

Standard Package

Standard package is designed for UK expatriates who lives or works outside of United Kingdom for at least 6 months a year and who do not require extensive out-patient cover. 3 different options are suggested to customer to choose from:

  1. In-patient procedures (in-patient hospital accommodation, physician, surgeon and anaesthetist fees, cash benefits, parental accommodation costs;
  2. Out-patient procedures (surgical, radiotherapy, chemotherapy procedures, as well as CT/MRI/PET scans;
  3. Other medical treatment costs (private ambulance, evacuation/repatriation, dental care, accidental damage to teeth, dental/optical/doctor or 24 hour helpline)

Moreover, it must be remembered that other costs are not covered and the coverage is limited up to £2000. Standard package also gives the choice of currency and travel insurance.

Comprehensive Package

Comprehensive plan is also designed for people who live at least 6 months a year outside United Kingdom. This type of cover is the most popular type of all three international insurance covers and offers everything that is included in Standard plan and these additional out-patient procedures:

  1. Out-patient consultations, diagnostic tests and treatment for psychiatric illness
  2. Out-patient physiotherapy, vaccinations, radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  3. Out-patient complementary practitioners

This plan also covers costs of non-routine dental treatment, eyesight tests and also it gives a contribution of £100 a year towards prescription contact lenses and spectacles. As in the standard plan it is possible to choose 3 areas of coverage, the currency and travel insurance is also included in this Comprehensive package.

Prestige Package

It is “AXA PPP” top range plan. It offers the coverage for the costs for all areas that are included in Comprehensive package and also routine pregnancy cover, adult health screen, disability compensation cover and annual travel insurance. It is the most expensive package designed for those who want maximum financial protection from possible accidents. However, it must be remembered that even with this plan there are some areas that are not insured such as routine dental and cosmetic treatment if the injuries were sustained when playing professional sports or sports listed in the insurance policy. Also if person has pre-existing conditions or travelled outside of the area of cover in such conditions costs are not covered.

Dental Insurance

Moreover, AXA PPP offers even such service as dental insurance. Its main purpose is to help clients manage their dental bills as usually visits to the dentist can cost quite significant amount of money. Thus, AXA offers for monthly fee, which starts from £9.95 a month, to cover:

  1. Routine dental treatments (check-ups, x-rays, hygiene treatment)
  2. Remedial or restorative treatments (fillings, dentures, crowns)
  3. Unexpected dental treatment (emergencies, mouth cancer)

When client chooses dental insurance he gets 25% no claim discount. It can also be mentioned that no medical questions are made. Moreover, the individual is guaranteed that up to limits indicated in the policy he will get 100% back on NHS (National Health Service) dental costs. To vary clients’ needs AXA PPP offers possibility to choose two options of dental insurance: core plan and premium plan.

Core and Premium plans

Core plan is basic plan of dental insurance. It offers full coverage for costs incurred by visiting NHS dentist, however if the person chooses private dentist, usually only up to 50 % of costs are covered. This is not the case for Premium plan as they cover total costs even when an individual chooses private dentist. Such policy for both plans is usually for routine examinations, hygiene or periodontal treatments. It is also the case for remedial or restorative treatments (crowns, fillings). Thus, it is advisable for those who more often private and not NHS services to choose Premium plan and for others Core plan is the best choice. 

Moreover, both plans offers worldwide accident or emergency cover. In the first case dental accident treatment up to £2500 is covered as for emergency the total cost that is possible to cover can be up to £200. These plans also provide insurance from mouth cancer for costs up to £12000 including smokers. Furthermore, for up to 30 nights maximum amount of £60 per night can be covered for in-patient treatment in the relation with NHS for dental related accidents.

International Marine Medical Cover

By choosing international marine medical person insures himself from accidents when he is traveling by ship. This plan offers full coverage of expenses incurred while transporting the person from the ship to the land. When the person is transported this plan gives all the benefits of international health plan depending of what package – Standard, Comprehensive or Prestige – was chosen. Moreover, the person can settle claims directly in more than 10,000 hospitals worldwide for eligible in-patient treatment. The benefits that are included are personal medical case management, 24/7 medical information line and customer online portal where it is possible to track and manage the policy or see the documents of the membership.

Day-patient, In-patient and Out-patient Terms

Term day-patient is used by most private medical insurance companies when they want to describe a hospital treatment that does not require an overnight stay.  A person visits a hospital where he receives treatment and is supervised by specialist in order to recover but does not stay in hospital for the night. A good example would be a patient that suffers from hernia. Most patients after this operation can go home for recovery the same day after the surgical intervention was made. In this case insurance company calls their client a day-patient and apply eligible insurance contract conditions.

Term in-patient is used by insurance companies to describe those patients that stay in hospital for one night and longer. As a result they occupy bed and are supplied with food. The stay can be because of treatment, examination or observation. On the contrary, an out-patient term is applied to those people who do not stay in hospital, clinic or other medical facility overnight but visit these medical institutions from time to time for treatment or diagnosis. Most hospitals are called in-patient or out-patient hospitals and that means that only certain medical help and assistance is provided there.