Axa PPP Healthcare is offering is number of policy enhancements to support members through the current Covid crisis.
This includes setting up a new clinical support centre which will provide virtual access to specialist consultants.
In addition Axa PPP has promised to review and adjust premiums to take into account the impact of delays to routine treatment during this period. However it said this review, which will be independently audited, will not take place until the end of 2021.
In order to ensure value for money during this crisis period Axa PPP is boosting NHS cash payment benefits by £100 a night for individual and SME members, should they need in-patient treatment or radiotherapy or chemotherapy. This will includes those hospitalised as a result of Covid-19.
It is also offering its virtual GP service – Doctor@Hand – to all UK individual and SME members. It is also waiving policy excesses and benefit limits or restrictions on outpatient services on these plans.
This new clinical support central will offer access to a range of specialists, including cancer consultants and those working in cardiology ENT, gastroenterology, orthopaedic and paediatrics. Members will be able to arrange consultations by telephone or video.
The support centre will also offer a triage team to ensure members are signposted to the most appropriate specialist, without the need for an NHS GP referral letter.
Members with a confirmed diagnosis already and waiting for a non-urgent elective surgery can also use this support centre to access care. This includes support for managing symptoms, for example accessing pain relief or online physiotherapy.
Axa PPP Healthcare chief executive Tracy Garrad says: “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.
“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 now that when the services resume we need to be in a position to settle the claims that will have built up.
“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.”
Additional wellbeing support is also being offered, including apps which address issues of mental health and online workouts and yoga.
Garrad adds: “We fully support the partnership between the NHS and private hospitals and the need to support the most vulnerable.
“This series of new commitments and services will enable us to support our members during these challenging times.”
Garrad adds that while members can’t access all the treatment they might need right now, when the coronavirus pandemic subsides 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 means members will be well placed to access the treatment they need when private hospitals reopen — with the commitment to assess and adjust for any delays in treatment that may arise.
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