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Axa Healthcare reduces its own medical cover for staff

AXA PPP, the UK health insurer, has decided to reduce the amount of private healthcare provision it gives its own employees.<br /><br />As part of a consultation process with its workforce, the group&nbsp; is introducing restrictions to its cover to make it less costly.<br /><br />It has told employees the new cover&nbsp; will incorporate a so-called six week rule, which means that&nbsp; employees will only be able to make use of the private provision if they can not get their medical condition treated on the NHS within six weeks. Such a policy naturally reduces the cost of the cover significantly.<br /><br />A spokesman for Axa said yesterday the lower cost policy replicated a scheme offered first by Axa to other businesses almost 30 years ago.<br /><br />&ldquo;This policy is a way of enabling us to offer a lower cost scheme,&rdquo; the spokesman said.<br /><br />The group is also withdrawing in hospital psychiatric care for its employees.<br /><br />Axa PPP says it has agreed the new health cover with its 1,800 employees after a series of consultative meetings.<br /><br />But One insider told City A.M: &ldquo;To reduce my health cover while I sell and administer more expensive policies to smaller and less profitable companies is outrageous.&rdquo;<br /><br />In addition to the reductions in the healthcare benefits, employees have also been asked to choose between one of the following: a reduction in pay; an increase in working hours; or a 50 per cent reduction in the annual bonus payment. The cost cutting measures are to apply for a three year period.