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Lower-than-average premium increases for AXA PPP clients

AXA PPP recently announced the annual updates for its policies, including the adaptation of the new cross-border healthcare regulations and a very modest premium adjustment.

Esteemed healthcare provider AXA PPP International has recently announced the annual updates for its policies, including the adaptation of the new cross-border healthcare regulations and a very modest premium adjustment. With over 70 years of experience. AXA is able to provide the best in client support, making improvements to their already high-value plans.

The international health insurance plans from AXA PPP give expats the peace of mind that they will able to receive the medical treatment and care they need anywhere in the world. In general, AXA PPP offers plans worldwide, excluding or including USA, with four levels of cover, starting with the Standard level which covers only in-patient treatment, followed by Comprehensive, Prestige and Prestige Plus with a comprehensive gold-standard cover. Each level offers optional add-ons and excess to easily meet the particular client's needs.

Additionally, AXA PPP adapts the above options for customers with different requirements: International Health Plan (IHP), European Health Cover (EHC), Jersey and Guernsey Health Plans (Channel Island plans) and the International Travel Plan.

A fair price adjustment

As of October 1st 2013, the premium rates for the IHP Plan increased 3.2%, and the Europe Plan rate increased 3.3% on average. Considering that the general benchmark for international insurances plans is 10%, the low increase on these plans shows how the company handles its policies and the investments of its clients.

The Globalsurance International Private Medical Insurance Review 2013 showed that AXA is one of the international insurance companies with some of the lowest inflation records. The AXA PPP International Health Plan has had an average inflation rate of 7.7% per year since 2009.

Since 2011, AXA PPP put in place a system that allowed the rates to be different for specific countries, an advantage for those regions where the prices for medical treatment and healthcare remain stable.

New cross-border regulations

As of October 2013, the "Legal rights and responsibilities" section includes the subrogation rights of AXA to recover treatment costs, and an EU directive covering patients' rights to cross-border healthcare has come into force. This states that EU nationals can go anywhere in the EU for treatment if they would be subject to an undue wait in their home state and costs would be paid by that person's home state.

The structure of financial services regulation in the UK changed back in April 2013, and AXA PPP, as a UK based company, is now updating all the literature to include appropriate references. For example, they amended the membership handbook to reflect that they have used a one stage complaints process since 1 July 2012, according to the new requirements by the regulators.

Same benefits, different terms

In general, the benefits haven't changed this year. However, the travel option was removed from Europe Plan (EHC). The option is still available in the IHP Plan.

On the other hand, the terms of the policies have changed where the rules have changed. For example, in the IHP, EHC and Jersey & Guernsey plan, AXA PPP changed the wording to clarify that limitations on emergency treatment abroad applies to leisure trips only. This means that clients who need to make business trips to countries that UK advise against will be covered.

In a similar way, AXA updated the wording in those plans to advise that they will only pay for one surgeon and one anesthesiologist unless the company agreed before the medical procedure. They also confirm (and changed the wording to be clear) that those plans do not cover any kind of bariatric surgery, regardless of the reason the surgery is needed, and they will not pay for any additional hospital charges for a non-standard single en-suite room or room upgrade, luxury menu and other similar costs. On the contrary, the mentioned plans will pay for In-patient rehabilitation of up to 28 days when the treatment could not be carried out on an out-patient basis. Within those plans is a Security Hotline – a 24 hour telephone service to help clients before traveling or if they find themselves in difficulty. For clients with EHC, Personal Case Management –a service to support client if they are diagnosed with a serious eligible condition- is now available.

With regard to pregnancy, AXA PPP clarified for the IHP, EHC and Jersey & Guernsey plans that they do not pay for certain types of treatment for assisted conception and this, not limited to IVF or similar intervention, also includes fertility drugs and other methods to aid fertility. For the same plans, AXA PPP confirms that they do not pay for investigations into miscarriage and for treatment to prevent future miscarriage. For the IHP maternity/Childbirth benefit, AXA PPP also clarified the rule to highlight that the company only pays up to the usual amount charged by medical practitioners for these services and up to the monetary limit shown in the benefits table.

In the Jersey & Guernsey plan, AXA PPP decided that ongoing management of HIV and AIDS will now take place under the chronic conditions rule to better reflect the current treatment practice.

Finally, for the chronic conditions in the Standard care of IHP, terms, benefits and exclusions set out in the policy will apply for any eligible treatment for a chronic condition. Similarly, the international members of the IHP from AXA PPP now have a better explanation about their cover, clarifying that members can receive treatment in any country within their chosen area of cover, namely Worldwide or Worldwide excluding USA.

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