Working from home

Answering your questions

You’ll find the answers to your questions about a number of subjects here

Can I access hospitals for treatment?

Yes, private hospitals are now accepting new referrals and availability has returned to normal levels.

Are all private facilities still available?

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, there may be some disruptions to when and where private services are delivered. We continue to work closely with private healthcare providers and our national networks to ensure we are aware of any changes.

Can I still visit my specialist?

Yes, in person consultations are available. However in some circumstances you may be offered a remote consultation (either by telephone or a video platform). The specialist will direct you towards the most appropriate care.

How do I get treatment?

Just contact your GP or our online private GP service, AXA Doctor at Hand, and ask for an open referral: then call us using the telephone number on your membership documents. The AXA Doctor at Hand service is included for  members on a personal or SME plan¹. Members of corporate healthcare schemes provided by their employer should check whether they have access to this service.

¹ Child Only plans don’t include AXA Doctor at Hand.

What is an 'open' referral?

An open referral is where your GP refers you for specialist care, but doesn’t name a specific person just the type of specialism. This means we’ll be able to find a specialist who is available to treat you and help arrange an appointment with them.

What do I do if I can’t get an appointment with my GP?

If your plan includes access to our remote private GP service, AXA Doctor at Hand – you can make an appointment by telephone or video, free of charge². Our AXA Doctor at Hand service is powered by Doctor Care Anywhere.

For some conditions you won’t need a GP referral as you’ll have direct access to our health services, such as our remote physio support. Your member documents on your member site explain when a GP referral will be needed.

²Fair usage policy applies

Can I use the online GP service for my child?

Yes, when the child is covered on one of our Personal or SME private healthcare insurance plans, you can access the service on their behalf¹. If your healthcare plan is provided by your employer, please check your Wellbeing Hub to find out if AXA Doctor at Hand is included in your cover.

¹ Child Only plans don’t include AXA Doctor at Hand.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The commonest symptoms are a high temperature and a new, continuous cough. In addition, the sense of smell can be lost (anosmia) or changed, which can also lead to changes in the sense of taste. If you are concerned that you may have coronavirus visit the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

How is coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2), which causes the illness COVID-19, tested?

There are several possible ways to test for infection with SARS-Cov-2 in the UK.  Please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/ for more details.

Will you pay for my COVID-19 test?

The eligibility of testing for coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is subject to the normal terms and conditions in our plans.

We will cover the cost of a COVID-19 test when:

  • requested by a specialist we recognise after you have been referred to them by a GP, and, the test is for the purpose of diagnosing symptoms
  • requested by a private hospital / facility we recognise for the purpose of eligible admission, eligible out-patient surgical procedures or eligible chemotherapy/radiotherapy. 

We will not cover the following: 

  • Antibody testing
  • COVID-19 tests when it is for screening purposes prior to outpatient consultations, scans, tests, therapy or practitioner treatment
  • COVID-19 tests at the request of a GP, prior to seeing a recognised specialist.  For example, test needed due to any delays/problems in the NHS testing system.

Most plans do not provide cover for screening or testing of symptom-free individuals, preventative treatments or treatment that would normally be carried out in a primary care setting, including fees for services that could be provided by a GP.

Additionally, we will not pay for tests that have not been proven effective. 

Will I need to be tested for COVID -19 in order to have treatment? 

It is possible that some form of testing will be needed, depending on the type of treatment and where you are treated. The private facility will be able to tell you whether you need a test, how it will be administered and what to do when you receive the results.

Do you cover the treatment of COVID-19?

COVID-19 treatment is subject to the normal terms and conditions of your plan. However, all cases are managed by the NHS and Public Health England and in practice it is unlikely you will need to use your plan.

Most plans do not cover treatment normally carried out in a primary care setting, including fees for services that could be provided by a GP.

If admission is required, there are currently no private facilities within the United Kingdom offering services to patients who have been diagnosed with, or who are suspected of having COVID-19.

Do you cover the treatment of long COVID?

If your GP, specialist or approved occupation health provider, suspect you have or have diagnosed you with symptoms of long COVID, we can arrange a remote consultation with a specialist, led by a team of leading experts in long COVID, who can guide you to the most appropriate treatment. Members will need to have cover for outpatient specialist consultations and diagnostic tests on their plan to access remote consultations with a specialist from 1 July. We will need to know what type of specialist you have been advised to see. 

If you have been referred for rehabilitation you have access to a physiotherapist-led 12 week remote rehabilitation programme to provide physical and emotional support to aid your recovery. This programme is available even when members don’t have outpatient cover Your usual plan excess will apply to any claims on your plan. 

Are there any plans that do not cover the rehabilitation programme?

There are a very small number of members on a plan with Diagnostics Only or plan that only covers treatment of specific medical conditions. If you are unsure if this applies to you, please call us to check your cover.

Are you issuing renewal terms as normal?

Yes, the renewal of your plan remains unaffected by the changes that we’re making and we’re continuing to issue membership information within normal timescales.

What if I’m experiencing financial difficulty and thinking of cancelling my plan?

If you are experiencing financial difficulty that is impacting your ability to pay your premium and is as a result of circumstances related to the current COVID-19 crisis, please contact us to discuss your options.

Free, independent debt advice is available. Information on dealing with financial difficulties during Coronavirus, and details of other organisations that offer support, can be found at Free and impartial money advice, set up by government - Money Advice Service

If my treatment has been authorised, but I have to wait till after the pandemic to have treatment, and I renew during this time, will I be charged an excess again?

Excesses apply for each membership year. This means that if you incur costs during this membership year, we will take the excess off what we pay for your claim. If you then incur more costs in the next membership year, even if it’s for the same condition, we will take the excess off that claim.