AXA Health removes jargon to make insurance more accessible

Couple looking at paperwork and insurance jargon
Written by
Anne East
Published on
February 14, 2024
Updated on
April 5, 2024

From 1 April 2024, AXA Health will be changing the names of some services. It’s part of their drive to fulfil the new Consumer Duty principle set out by the Financial Conduct Authority

The intention is to provide consumers with better outcomes, ensuring the information they’re given is clear, in order to help them achieve their objectives.

AXA Health has promised not to replace ‘names with different names’ but instead use simple descriptions so that customers know what to expect.

The new terms and the services they describe are:

24/7 health support line (replacing Health at Hand)

Providing members with clear and up-to-date information. Advice from nurses and counsellors will also be available 24/7.

specialist appointment booking service (replacing Fast Track Appointment Service)

Ensuring members can quickly find, choose, and book an appointment with a specialist.  

support for muscles, bones and joints or our muscles, bones and joints service (replacing Working Body)

Offering direct access to clinicians and consultants without a GP referral, providing faster diagnosis and treatment.

mental health assessments and support (replacing Stronger Minds)

Providing access to mental health professionals without the need for a GP referral so that members can seek early intervention.

ask our health professionals (replacing Ask the Expert)

Members can forward health questions to a professional at any time. Responses will be from experienced nurses, midwives, counsellors or pharmacists, ensuring policyholders get expert advice.

Clarity in health insurance

The lack of standardised terms, coupled with industry jargon, makes health insurance a tricky area to navigate, particularly for anyone looking to buy a policy for the first time.

Terms that can lead to confusion are often key to how the policy is managed, which can lead to disappointment if a claim is rejected. Yet much of this confusion could be removed simply by providing consumers with greater clarity.

Prime examples include the terms moratorium underwriting and full-medical underwriting. Both are methods of assessing risk and will affect the claims process, but more often than not, the differences aren’t immediately obvious. It may also not be clear how these differences impact policies on a practical level.

Moratorium underwriting automatically excludes all pre-existing conditions from the last five years. While this means there’s less paperwork upfront, claims can take longer to process as insurers need to check the policyholder’s medical history to verify whether they’re covered.

On the other hand, policies with full-medical underwriting take longer to set up, as potential customers will need to answer a detailed health questionnaire. In some cases, it could also require a medical. The advantage is that policyholders know in advance what conditions are covered; claims are also processed faster as a result.

As with most technicalities, the intricacies aren’t always explicit, for example, moratorium underwriting may not be an option for all customers, depending on their overall health and lifestyle. Full medical underwriting can also make it harder to remove exclusions later on, whereas it’s possible for moratorium policies to reinstate cover after a period of time (usually two years).

Other terms that cause confusion include mental health support and mental health treatment. Support typically means remote access via telephone or video call, rather than face-to-face appointments with a counsellor or psychiatrist. Anyone who wants extensive mental health services, including psychiatric care, will usually need to buy this as a policy add-on.

Confusing terminology can also be found in relation to how payments are managed and structured. This includes co-payment arrangements, which splits the cost of treatment between the insurer and the policyholder, reducing premiums. In addition, there are also options for pooled risk premiums, no-claims discounts and excess choices – all of which add to the confusion.

The bottom line is that while AXA Health’s move towards clearer language is a step in the right direction, there’s still much to be done to ensure consumers know what they’re getting for their money.

For more information about how health insurance works, head to: