AXA's business health insurance policies

AXA Health offers two levels of healthcare cover depending on the size of your business. Their small business health plan provides healthcare cover for small businesses with between 1 and 249 employees.

Their Advance plan is for corporate customers with 250+ employees.

Small business health insurance

AXA's approach to small business health insurance is that you should only pay for what you'll realistically use. In most cases, insurers divide healthcare benefits into core coverage included with every policy and add-ons that you can choose to provide extra cover.

Flexible small business coverage

AXA Health lets you build your small business health plan precisely as you want, even if you only need one service, such as therapies cover or a cash plan paying cashback for optical or dental expenses.

There are restrictions. If you only need cover for one or two employees, you must include either AXA's treatment or diagnostics-only option. Their employee assistance programmes also aren't available as a standalone choice.

Here's what you can expect with an AXA health policy for small businesses.

Treatment option

The treatment option combines several care options in one package.

In-patient and day-patient care

In-patient and day-patient treatment includes associated costs like diagnostic tests carried out in the hospital, surgery costs, dressings, medication and an ambulance transfer to another hospital if needed. All treatment costs are paid in full if patients use a hospital or treatment centre from AXA's hospital directory.

Out-patient surgery

Some surgical procedures, such as cataract surgery or a colonoscopy, don't need a hospital admission. Many insurers now include some out-patient surgery even where businesses don't choose to add full out-patient coverage. Again, costs are covered in full if your employee uses a provider from AXA's directory.

Complex scans

Complex scans include CT, MRI or PET scans. AXA pays for these in full if a scanning centre from their directory carries them out after a specialist referral.

Cancer cover

50% of us will get cancer in our lifetime. AXA's treatment policy offers two levels of cancer treatment. Comprehensive cancer cover includes surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. With the NHS cancer support option, your staff must have NHS or self-funded treatment. However, if their consultant recommends a licensed drug that isn't currently available on the NHS, the plan will pay for it.

Cash benefit

The treatment option pays cashback if your employee receives NHS in-patient or cancer treatment that their plan would have covered.


The diagnostics-only option does what it says on the tin. Suppose your main priority is ensuring your staff can access a quick diagnosis. This option covers two consultant appointments per policy year and unlimited out-patient surgeries, complex scans, and diagnostic tests after a specialist referral.

Out-patient option

You can choose between three out-patient cover levels. Standard cover provides up to two annual consultant appointments and consultant-referred diagnostic tests. Enhanced cover includes up to four specialist consultations, diagnostic tests and unlimited care from health professionals ranging from nurses to speech therapists. Finally, full cover provides all of the above with no financial limits.

Therapies option

We're increasingly seeing therapies offered separately from out-patient cover, when they would once have been covered together. Therapies cover includes up to ten sessions of the following after a GP referral:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Osteopathy
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Acupuncture

AXA's muscles, bones and joints service provides access to up to ten sessions of physiotherapy or osteopathy and more subject to approval if a specialist recommends them.

Mental health option

AXA's Stronger Minds service supports mental wellbeing. It's automatically included in their corporate policy, but small business customers can add it by choosing the mental health option. It's ideal if you work in a high-pressure environment and includes care including counselling, CBT, psychiatric treatment, diagnostic tests and medication with no annual limit.

Extended cover

Extended cover lets your team benefit from a broader range of specialists and hospitals not listed in AXA's directory. Your employees can also receive pre-approved private treatment abroad, so doesn't provide emergency care.

Most healthcare cover excludes chronic conditions as standard. However, if you invest in extended cover, your employees can receive private routine monitoring for chronic illnesses, including asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Private GP option

AXA customers have access to virtual GP appointments and telephone healthcare advice. Their private GP option adds fees of up to £500 per year for face-to-face visits to a private GP.

Dentist and optician cashback

If your employees already pay for private dental or optical care, this option allows them to claim cashback for dental fees, glasses, contact lenses, and annual eye tests. There's a £25 yearly limit for eye tests. They'll also pay 80% of dental treatment costs up to £400 per year and 80% of the cost of glasses or contact lenses up to £200 per year.

Other services

Employee assistance programmes

AXA's employee assistance programmes (EAPs) include Essential and Premier versions. Essential offers around-the-clock access to mental health advice from a counsellor by phone or email.

The Premier option provides additional benefits, including:

  • Up to eight in-person or online counselling sessions.
  • Psychologist referrals for further treatment where needed.
  • Help for managers to look after team mental health.
  • Life Management services for help with common personal issues, including debt, legal issues, relationship problems and bereavement.

Travel cover

Choose between European and Worldwide travel cover and provide your employees with travel insurance and access to emergency treatment whether they're travelling for work or going on a family holiday. They won't be covered if they travel against Government or medical advice or are terminally ill. Otherwise, most pre-existing conditions are covered.

Services available to all policyholders

All employees can use AXA's online GP service or receive health advice over the telephone 24/7. They also provide phone lines offering advice from heart and cancer nurses, physiotherapists, and video physiotherapy consultations.

There are also discounted gym memberships from various providers, with an online option for employees without a qualifying gym nearby.

Corporate health insurance

AXA's Advance policy for corporate customers includes the same coverage as their small business offering in one comprehensive policy. It also offers additional benefits that reflect the needs and challenges involved in managing a larger workforce. Many are included as standard, and you can add more services depending on your business needs.

You can access data and insights to help you see how employees are using the plan and understand any underlying health trends.

Core services

Advance includes access to telephone or online GP or specialist nurse practitioner appointments. It's worth noting that while these GPs and nurses can offer advice and private prescriptions, they can't refer your employees for NHS treatment. If your policy doesn't cover the treatment they need, they'll need to see their NHS GP for their referral. Employees must pay separately for private prescriptions. There are specialist helplines with advice from midwives, counsellors and pharmacists and a booking service for specialist consultations if your employee has an open referral.

Support for specific conditions

AXA offers a digital triage service for musculoskeletal conditions, with direct access to physiotherapy or specialist consultations without a GP referral.

The Stronger Minds programme is included as standard in the Advance plan, providing counselling, CBT or psychiatric treatment.

There's also a cancer care team offering health coaching and advice about the side effects of cancer treatment, nutrition and general health during treatment.

Finally, there's telephone support, physiotherapy, rehabilitation or specialist consultations for symptoms of long COVID.

Wellbeing services

Wellbeing services include:

  • Access to health and wellbeing assessments via the AXA Health app.
  • Discounted gym memberships
  • Third-party health assessments and discounts on self-pay treatment for employees not covered by the plan.

Optional extras

AXA's Advance policy offers access to the following additional services at an extra cost.

Employee Assistance Programmes

AXA's Essential and Premier employee assistance programmes provide telephone or email mental health advice. The Premier EAP also offers in-person counselling, psychiatric treatment referrals, and life management advice for personal issues, including debt or relationship problems.

Occupational health services

Managing occupational health means meeting various challenges, including looking after employee wellbeing to try and avoid sickness absence, staying in touch with employees during time off, and managing their return to work.

AXA's occupational health services provide health guidance for employees and managers and health monitoring and assessments to ensure they're fit for work.

Neurodiversity assessment

Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the needs of neurodiverse employees and the challenges associated with accessing a diagnosis and appropriate treatment. AXA's neurodiversity assessment and support services provide assessments for conditions including autism, ADHD and dyslexia. Your employees can seek help, including referrals to multi-disciplinary services for themselves or their children, if the policy covers them.

Menopause support

Research suggests that a lack of adequate menopause advice and treatment has lost the UK economy around £10 billion, thanks to menopause-related absence or women leaving the workplace. AXA's menopause support provides referrals to specialist gynaecologists and diagnostic tests if you decide to include them.

Other services

Other cover options include:

  • Wellbeing support including health assessments, coaching and support to devise a workplace wellbeing strategy.
  • Dental and optical cover.
  • The Peppy app, which provides support for men's and women's health issues plus fertility, early parenthood and menopause support
  • The Thrive mental wellbeing app for help with mood and mental resilience.

What isn't covered

Every healthcare plan has exclusions, some of which are standard for every customer, while others depend on employees' previous medical conditions. AXA's standard exclusions include:

  • Straightforward pregnancy and childbirth
  • Chronic conditions (although some policy options include routine monitoring)
  • Cosmetic treatments

Policies also exclude pre-existing conditions that employees sought treatment or advice for before joining the policy unless you choose 'medical history disregarded' underwriting. However, this is only available if you have at least 15 employees.

Options to help you manage your budget

AXA's flexible approach to health insurance lets you tailor your coverage to your needs. However, there are other ways to manage your costs. For example, you can:

  • Pay annually instead of monthly.
  • Opt for guided consultant choice, which offers a limited choice of fee-limited specialists.
  • Fix your premiums for two years.
  • Add a policy excess so employees contribute towards their care costs.

Choose your underwriting

The underwriting choice you make influences the cost of your premium. Moratorium and full medical underwriting both impose a two-year moratorium period on medical conditions your employees had during the five years before they joined the policy. The main differences are the amount of information employees must provide when they join and the claims experience.

Moratorium underwriting

With moratorium underwriting your employees don't provide any medical information when they join, but your insurers check their records for exclusions when they claim, meaning the claims process can take longer.

Full medical underwriting

With full medical underwriting, employees must provide full details of any pre-existing medical conditions when they join. This provides certainty about what's covered or excluded, meaning claims are generally processed more quickly. It's often cheaper as it enables insurers to assess risk more accurately.

Medical history disregarded

AXA only offer this type of underwriting to businesses with 15+ employees. It's the most expensive option, but it means your employees can have treatment regardless of any previous conditions. The only exclusions are those that apply to every customer.

Additional options for corporate customers

Corporate clients can tailor premiums in the same way as all of AXA's business customers. However, you can also choose to structure your scheme in various ways.

With full insurance, you agree on your premium per employee during the policy year.

Full insurance with profit share pays cash back if claims are significantly lower than initially predicted.

Pay as you go means AXA will pay for claims as employees make them, but places financial limits on overall claims.

There are also options to set up a health or master trust to make your scheme more tax-efficient.

Get in touch

Globacare is a specialist broker helping you find the best healthcare cover for your business. Contact us today for tailored advice.

Will Forsyth
Sales Manager

Will Forsyth

Will has over 11 years of experience, five with us and six with Axa Health before that. He's knowledgeable on many products, including health insurance, life insurance and business protection.

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