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AXA Health reveals 1 in 5 adults now want health insurance

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to quickly access the medical care you need in the UK, with long NHS queues causing stress for thousands of people. A recent report from top health insurance provider AXA Health has revealed that 1 in 5 UK adults are now thinking about buying health insurance to get better access to doctors and treatment.

AXA Health’s Customer Lifestyle Report asked 2,000 UK residents their opinions on health, finances and overall wellbeing in the UK. Reports like this are useful in highlighting what is important to UK consumers and one of the main concerns was limited access to the right healthcare options.

Private health insurance is designed to make it easier and more affordable to receive top quality private medical care. Paying for care from private doctors and specialists will be too expensive for most people, which is what makes policies like health insurance so useful.

What is health insurance?

Private health insurance is a policy that is available for people living in the UK who want help in covering the cost of private medical treatments.

There are many different insurers that sell health insurance and various types of policy to choose from (e.g. individual cover, joint cover, family health insurance). You should choose the type of policy that feels right for you and your own situation.

Most insurance providers will also add on attractive extra benefits for their customers including online GP services, additional health support and discounts from top UK brands.

Is health insurance a good choice for everyone?

Health insurance is an appealing choice at the moment, especially for those worried about not being able to access fast diagnosis and care for their medical issues. It won’t always be the right choice for everyone though, so you should think carefully about if you can afford and if the benefits are worth it for you.

The reasons that most people choose to buy health insurance include faster access to the services they need, peace of mind, and extra financial support with medical care. You will usually have access to a range of private specialists who can help treat your symptoms and sometimes with drugs and treatments that aren’t yet available on the NHS.

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What did AXA Health’s report reveal about health insurance?

The most recent AXA Health Customer Lifestyle Report uncovered some fascinating insights in what UK consumers currently think and feel about policies like health insurance. 2 in 5 people have reduced spending on insurance due to rising costs.

Some of the main facts that were uncovered include that 25% of people have cancelled a policy to cut back on spending and 33% have reduced their level cover.

It can be helpful to compare costs across providers if you’re worried about how much you are spending on your insurance policy. According to AXA, 53% of people surveyed have switched their cover to a cheaper provider after reviewing their policy.

Should I cancel or reduce my health insurance cover?

If you already have health insurance, you may be one of the people who feel they are spending too much or that the cost simply isn’t worth it for you right now and that is understandable.

AXA’s report shows that people are being more cautious about spending across the board with statistics like:

  • 41% of people cut back on paying for heating
  • 30% use their appliances less to save money
  • 26% people have tried to reduce the cost of their food shopping
  • Almost 25% have no intention of booking holidays due to tighter budgets
  • 1 in 5 people have stopped buying takeaways or having days out
  • 22% have stopped donating to charity as they can’t afford to

You can read AXA’s full report here: AXA Health – Customer Lifestyle Report

If health insurance is an area where you would like to cut back on spending, there are options available that mean you don’t have to give up your cover completely.

One good thing about health insurance is that you aren’t tied in indefinitely and so you can cancel or review your cover at any time. You may be able to remove benefits or switch to a lower cost policy with your current provider and it’s worth contacting them if you’re not sure.

It’s also possible that better pricing may be available from other providers if you do some research and check prices across the market. If you don’t know where to start or need some free, friendly advice, our dedicated health insurance experts are here to help.

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Were there any other findings in the report?

There were many questions asked in the latest AXA Health report and there were some interesting findings aside from the insights about health insurance itself.

Many people surveyed stated that having to cut back on buying gifts and gadgets, as well as general money worries have taken a toll on their mental health. Around 50% of people surveyed stated that not being able to afford what they want has impacted their self esteem with over half only ‘getting by’ mentally.

The main impact appears to be on people aged 18-24, but it’s clear to see that financial worries have been a major concern across the board. 82% of people surveyed felt that financial security plays a big role in how they feel about themselves and their overall wellbeing.

Frequently asked questions about AXA Health

What is covered by AXA Health?

AXA Health policies cover the cost of private medical treatment and will normally cover things such as private hospital rooms, cancer treatments and specialist fees.

There are also certain situations that AXA will not cover including pre-existing or chronic conditions, dental treatment and pregnancy/childbirth.

We explain all about how AXA Health insurance works any pros and cons in our independent AXA Health Insurance Review.


Do I need a GP referral for AXA Health?

You don’t need a GP referral to buy AXA health insurance, but you will normally need one before contacting them to claim. You can claim for specialist treatment after an initial visit to your own GP where they give you an ‘open referral’ for treatment.


How do I contact AXA Health?

If you need to speak to AXA Health about a new or existing policy, you can use the contact numbers below to speak to their customer services team.

Telephone (AXA Health Plan) – 0800 302 9133

Opening hours – 8.00am – 8.00pm Monday to Friday / 9.00am – 5.00pm Saturday

Telephone (Health-on-Line Plans) – 01202 544 444

Opening hours – 8.00am – 6.00pm Monday to Friday

There is also the option to register new claims or find more information on AXA Member Online.


Is AXA a good private health insurance provider?

AXA is a popular health insurance provider in the UK and one of the most well-known private health insurance companies. Everyone is different and so they may not be the best choice for everyone, but there are definite benefits to choosing AXA Health for your policy.

AXA provides a range of different policies to suit various needs and budgets and are generally well liked by customers. They currently have a rating of 4.2 out of 5.0 stars on TrustPilot (with over 9,400 reviews as of January 2024).

How do I buy AXA Health insurance?

If you’re thinking about buying health insurance, there are some great options available from AXA Health and many other top health insurance providers. The easiest way to find the best health insurance quotes is by speaking to a health insurance expert. This is especially true if you are concerned about things like any pre-existing medical conditions you have and if this will affect your cover.

A health insurance specialist can assess the type of cover you need and how much you want to pay to ensure you get the right level of cover at the best possible price. You can talk to our experts for free guidance and support on 0800 009 6559 or by clicking here.

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What is the average cost of health insurance UK?

One of the top questions that people ask about health insurance is, ‘how much does it cost on average per month?’. According to recent research taken in 2023, the average cost of a health insurance is £86 per month for a standard personal protection policy. Health insurance policies can vary dramatically based on your age and the type of cover that you need, as well as which insurance provider you choose.

Most core health insurance policies will provide a similar level of protection and coverage for private medical treatments. You can tailor your health insurance policy to suit your needs and your budget by changing the benefits and levels of cover that you receive.

Is health insurance worth it?

Health insurance is the same as most other personal protection policies that you can buy, it is down to your own personal preference and attitude to risk. The other major issue is whether you can afford to pay for health insurance every month because it can be expensive.

If you ever need to claim on your health insurance policy then the benefits can be life changing and even lifesaving. The medical treatments and care that is provided by the NHS in the UK is among the best in the world, especially for chronic illness. Unfortunately, it is a well-known fact that the NHS is struggling to meet demand and that the levels of private medical treatment are generally far superior to public health treatments.

Example: If you needed knee surgery then you would have to wait for months or even years on the NHS, whereas private health insurance will give you access to better treatment, leading specialists, and within weeks usually. Rehabilitation and therapies cover that are also provided by most health insurance policies can be invaluable, especially if you are self-employed for example.

Is private health insurance better than the NHS?

Currently, the biggest issue with the NHS is the waiting times for any consultations and access to treatments, because of how stretched its resources are. The NHS provides some of the best care in the world for chronic illnesses and diseases, such as diabetes, MS, epilepsy, and asthma.

Health insurance is designed to complement and support the treatment that you can receive on the National Health Service, as well as giving you access to specialists for other medical issues such as musculoskeletal issues and cancer treatment, which are also the top reasons for claims on health insurance cover.

The main issues with NHS treatment currently and reasons for people taking out health insurance:

  • Long waiting lists for consultations, results and treatment
  • Overcrowded hospitals
  • Lack of beds
  • Shortages of NHS nurses and doctors
  • Some treatments not available (especially cancer treatments)
  • Specialists only available on private health insurance
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What is the best health insurance UK?

There are lots of different policy options when considering health insurance as well as your choice of several main insurance providers. The other consideration is whether you don’t take out health insurance and opt for receiving treatment on the NHS or paying for treatment yourself as and when you need it.

We’re constantly reviewing the top health insurance companies in the UK to find out which provide the best service, value, products and treatments. Based on our most recent reviews we suggest the following as the best health insurance UK 2023:

  1. Aviva Healthcare Solutions (Trustpilot score: 4.1 out of 5.0)
  2. BUPA Health Insurance (Trustpilot score: 4.0 out of 5.0)
  3. Vitality Personal Healthcare (Trustpilot score: 3.9 out of 5.0)
  4. Exeter Health+ (Trustpilot score: 4.4 out of 5.0)
  5. AXA PPP (Trustpilot score: 4.1 out of 5.0)
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