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The pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to everyday life, particularly when it comes to accessing healthcare support and services. That’s why our parent company and underwriter AXA Health promised you that, as part of their ongoing coronavirus response, they’d take this disruption into account and provide a refund to PHC branded health insurance.
We communicated these plans back in April 2020 and AXA Health are now acting on that promise, with payments starting from early May.
Here are answers to some questions you may have. You can also read the full Terms and Conditions on the AXA Health website.
Who is eligible for the refund?
The promise was to individual health insurance members and SME groups who had a PHC-branded private health plan between 1 January 2020 and 7 April 2020.
How has the refund been calculated?
The total refund is paid for from the exceptional profit made during January 2020 to December 2021 inclusive, due to the reduced claims members made during the pandemic. To calculate the actual amount, AXA Health first calculated the ratio of claims paid in relation to active subscriptions on health plans for 2019. AXA Health then compared that with the equivalent figures for 2020 and 2021 to work out how much the pandemic affected our members. AXA Health then calculated refunds in proportion to subscription payments made in 2020 and 2021.
The final amount takes into account any temporary premium reduction you may have received between 1 April 2020 and 31 December 2021.
The calculations were independently reviewed and verified by Grant Thornton UK LLP for transparency – a leading accountancy and tax firm.
Why has it taken until now to calculate the refunds?
Memberships run annually, with payments not always being processed in the same year as claims have been made. AXA Health therefore waited until the end of 2021 and took time to assess the impact of the pandemic on how our members used their health cover.
AXA Health also anticipated a surge in claims when private health services resumed, so they’ve taken time to make sure they’re financially sustainable and in a position to settle any backlog of claims.
Will this be paid as a one-off or monthly payment?
The refund will be made as a one-off payment.
Have I been charged an admin fee for this refund to be processed?
No, there’s no admin fee for the refund.
Who receives the refund for group policies – the group or the lead member on the plan?
AXA Health will issue the refund to the SME group.
Can the refund be sent to my broker?
No. AXA Health will automatically pay all SME refunds to the group account we hold on our system. Unfortunately, AXA Health are unable to send the refund directly to another account.
When will I get a refund?
AXA Health will begin processing refunds from May 2022. We anticipate most refunds will be completed by the end of May 2022. All eligible refunds will be made within 7 to 10 working days by cheque or, if you pay by Direct Debit, directly to the bank account from which your subscription is paid. The same will apply to any lapsed customers eligible for a refund.
I transferred from one plan to another. Do I get a refund from both?
Yes. If you moved from a plan that qualifies for a refund and enrolled onto another eligible plan within 30 days, we’ll have taken the subscription payments from both into account when calculating your refund.
Will my premiums increase to pay for the refund?
No, your premiums will not increase to pay for the refund. The total refund is fully paid for from the exceptional profit made due to reduced claims incurred during the pandemic. It will not be considered when we look at prices going forward.
A number of factors can cause premiums to increase annually, such as claims made, age and medical inflation, costs of advances in technology, new treatments, healthcare delivery and usage across the country.
What happens if my refund amount is small?
If your refund is below the minimum amount for payment, AXA Health will donate it to charity. The minimum amount for payment is £2 by Direct Debit, or £5 by cheque per policyholder.
AXA Health set these amounts to recognise the processing costs they incur. For all these small refunds, our parent committed to making a meaningful donation, which will be split equally between Maggie’s and Cancer Research UK charities. AXA Health will update the final donation amount on their website.
How will I be paid?
Refunds will be paid by BACS (i.e. bank transfer) if you pay by Direct Debit, directly to the bank account from which your subscription is paid, or was previously paid.