AXA PPP healthcare announces new commitments and services to support members through extraordinary times

8 April 2020

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Today, 8th April 2020, AXA PPP healthcare announces a suite of service enhancements across four key areas to support its UK members through the current coronavirus crisis:

1. New “Clinical Support Centre” providing virtual access to specialist consultations
2. A commitment to assess and adjust for the impact of any delays in treatment during the coronavirus crisis
3. Complimentary new services and value enhancements for members
4. Additional expert wellbeing support

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 “We fully support the partnership between the NHS and private hospitals and the need to support the most vulnerable. These are extraordinary times and they require extraordinary solutions,” explains AXA PPP healthcare CEO, Tracy Garrad. “Today, we are announcing a series of new commitments and services to enable us to continue to support our members through these challenging times.” 

The first of the initiatives to be introduced is a new, virtual Clinical Support Centre.

AXA PPP healthcare has brought together a panel of the UK’s leading specialists and practitioners who are all available by telephone, video or online. The bespoke panel includes cancer, cardiology, ENT, gastroenterology, gynaecology, orthopaedic and paediatric specialists, many of whom are among the most senior and expert consultants in their respective fields. 

Our Clinical Support Centre triage team will help signpost members to the most appropriate specialist, guiding them to the right support and advice. All without the need for an NHS GP referral letter. This will ensure members can access the right expert at the right time – all from the safety of their own home.

Members with a confirmed diagnosis already, and waiting for non-urgent, elective surgery can also use the Clinical Support Centre to access ‘care while they wait’. This includes support for managing symptoms – for example, accessing pain relief or online physiotherapy. The centre will also support members who are in need of urgent treatment with onwards referral to newly established urgent and immediate care pathways put together by the public and private health systems.

“This bespoke service will enable our members to access highly qualified, senior experts from their living rooms,” adds Garrad. “We’re bringing together the finest specialists to support members through this challenging time. If private hospitals are unavailable, we’ll bring the experts from the hospitals directly and virtually to our members.”

AXA PPP healthcare is also announcing a new, customer promise today.

“These are difficult times for our members and the country overall. Our focus is on doing the right thing. So that’s about continuing to deliver the best service but also ensuring that members get the best value during these extraordinary times.”

The customer promise* is simple – to assess and adjust for any impacts of the delays in treatment during the coronavirus crisis.

To ensure this is administered transparently, Garrad has committed to appoint an independent auditor to review the numbers. “As we won’t immediately have a clear view of any impacts of the delays in treatment, we will review the data at the end of 2021, and have that data independently audited,” she explains.

“This timing enables us to ensure we take a longer term approach to the crisis, knowing that there will be a significant surge in claims as and when private hospitals re-open. We don’t know for how long treatment will be delayed but we do know that, when the services resume, we need to be in a position to settle the claims that will have built up,” Tracy Garrad continues. “We want to reassure our members that they will be funded for treatment when normal private services resume. We are committing to pre-authorising treatments now so that our members have the confidence of knowing they will receive their treatment providing they maintain their cover. It is necessary to look at claims and funding over the longer term to ensure that what we are offering is fully sustainable financially.” 

The insurer is also introducing a wide ranging package of measures to help members secure healthcare services and support through the pandemic.

Helping members get value from their plan during the crisis 

Enhanced measures for UK individual and SME members include boosting NHS cash payment benefits** by £100 per night for UK Individual and SME members for NHS in-patient treatment or NHS cancer radiotherapy or chemotherapy that would have been covered on their policies – from 01 April 2020 for 12 months. This will also apply to members who are hospitalised as a result of COVID-19.

Unlimited Virtual GP service***, free of charge to UK Individual and SME members via AXA PPP healthcare’s private GP service – Doctor@Hand, provided by Doctor Care Anywhere. The service is accessible by telephone and video and for Individual and SME members, will include home delivery of prescriptions at the standard NHS England prescription charge rather than private prescription charges, for as long as the Clinical Support Centre is in operation.

Individual and SME members using the Clinical Support Centre will have policy excesses, and benefit limits or restrictions on outpatient services waived during the crisis period for consultations and diagnostics arranged by the service. 

Additional expert wellbeing support

To support healthy living whilst ‘Stay at Home’ prevails, AXA PPP healthcare is providing: 

  • Free Thrive app (up to 6 months for individual and SME members) that helps you boost your mental wellbeing and build resilience 
  • Free online workouts and yoga through our website and social media
  • Online access to health and wellbeing support communities through ‘Health Unlocked’ – offered as part of our Member Online service
  • Discounts on health and wellbeing products and services from AXA Active Plus

Members will continue to benefit from access to Cancer Treatment at Home (where clinically appropriate and in line with their plan benefit and rules), along with telephone based support from its Dedicated Nurses

And access to the insurer’s 24/7 Health at Hand helpline staffed by nurses, midwives, pharmacists and counsellors.

Loyalty counts

While members can’t access all the treatment they might need right now, when the coronavirus pandemic subsides and the world is back up and running, there will be more demand on the NHS than ever before, and backlogs to be overcome within the public health service. Keeping up their membership through the crisis and having eligible treatment pre-authorised now means they’ll be well placed to access the treatment they need when private hospitals reopen and with the commitment to assess and adjust for any delays in treatment that may arise. This is a responsible approach to ensuring viability of claims settlement.

AXA PPP healthcare Chief Executive Officer Tracy Garrad said:

“At AXA PPP healthcare, we are committed to pulling together with our members, partners and colleagues to find the right way through for all of us.

“They can count on us to do right by them, be there to support them – today and tomorrow.”

 

* Based on the assumption that private hospital services start to return later this year, and fully in 2021 – and with the surge in catch-up treatment that this will drive – AXA PPP healthcare guarantees that if the proportion of claims cost incurred in relation to the premium earned during the period 01 January 2020 to 31 December 2021 is less than that experienced in full year 2019, AXA PPP healthcare will rebate the total amount of claims shortfall to all of the eligible members and groups in proportion to the premiums they’ve paid for their cover over the 24 month period of 2020/2021.

We expect any refund to be paid in Q1 2022 and plan for the calculation to be verified by an appropriate independent auditor.

The guarantee applies to all UK Individual members and SME groups with an AXA PPP healthcare, SecureHealth, Health-on-Line or PHC branded PMI product, as well as those with dental insurance whose policy was in force on the 01 January 2020 and any new customers whose policies became effective before 01 April 2020. Further information available here.

Separate discussions will be held with corporate clients and where appropriate their advisers about applying these principles to their healthcare scheme claims funds.

** For example, if a member is already covered to receive £100 per night NHS in-patient cash payment benefit, they will receive double that.

*** Subject to appointment availability and the Doctor Care Anywhere fair usage policy.  

For additional information - including FAQs – visit our coronavirus hub here.