Everything you need to know about mental health insurance - WillU Life


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    Everything you need to know about mental health insurance

    One in four people are affected by a mental health condition every year (Mind, 2019). 

    Mental health is defined by the WHO as a state of mental and psychological wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, and can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Mental health is determined by a range of socioeconomic, biological and environmental factors.

    With the rise in mental health struggles amongst all ages, insurers have rightfully adapted with the times and most now offer some kind of mental health support and cover as standard.

    Vitality mental health support spans preventative measures and early intervention treatment, to optional comprehensive treatment for more serious conditions.

    There are two ways can Vitality can help:


    Core Cover

    Their standard health insurance cover includes access to preventative measures and early invention such as CBT and counselling within VitalityHealth’s Talking Therapies network. Included as standard:

    Rewards for physical activity – getting active helps your mental health – and can earn you regular rewards and discounts within the Vitality status scheme. 

    Mindfulness app – earn rewards points for connecting your Headspace app to Vitality and regularly using the meditation app

    Online support community – Vitality are partnered with Togetherall to give you access to a 24/7 online mental health community

    Talking Therapies – refer yourself through the Vitality GP app to access up to eight sessions


    Mental Health Cover

    Their optional, additional cover includes unlimited in-network Talking Therapies, plus further cover for out-patient, in-patient and day-patient treatment. Mental health support within Mental Health Cover is for an additional monthly premium.

    Talking Therapies  – Unlimited access to Talking Therapy sessions, without impacting your mental health or general out-patient cover

    Out-patient cover – Up to £1,500 worth of out-patient treatment, for example with a psychologist

    In-patient treatment – Up to 28 days of treatment in a hospital, as a day-patient or an in-patient


    Will my mental health issues affect my insurance premiums?

    If your mental health issue has a long-term impact on your daily life, then it may increase your insurance premiums for some insurance products. They would categorise you as a higher risk, deeming you more likely to claim. 

    If you are taking out a new policy it will be subject to your underwriting criteria. Full medical underwriting could mean possible exclusions. We would suggest opting for moratorium underwriting.

    If you have already been seen by a medical practitioner for a mental health condition, you would be subjected to the underwriting terms. Again, we recommend to take out moratorium underwriting.

    Moratorium underwriting does not require you to give detailed medical information when you apply. if you make a claim, your insurer will look into your medical history to decide if they can pay for your treatment.

    They will not cover any conditions that you had, or were aware of, in the five years before you take out cover. But they can start to cover these conditions if you don’t have treatment, medication or advice for these conditions, or any related conditions, for two consecutive years after your plan starts. 

    Once covered and you claim for mental health, this will count as a claim and so be subject to normal claim premium increases, depending on t’s & c’s. Despite this counting as a claim and subsequently increasing your premium, Vitality offer ‘ABC’ pricing on renewal, meaning that if you engage in the program you can reduce your premiums. Ts & Cs apply.


    What do I need to disclose to an insurer?

    You should always endeavour to answer honestly when insurers ask medical questions. This is to avoid having a claim disallowed or your policy cancelled for not disclosing an issue. You will be subject to Moratorium underwriting or Full Medical underwriting. If you take out Full medical underwriting any pre-existing condition disclosed will most likely be excluded. If you choose moratorium, it will be subject to moratorium terms.


    Can you get life insurance with a mental health condition

    ? Yes, it is possible to get life insurance with a mental health condition, but the decision is made based on the nature of the condition and your most recent medical history. Depending on the nature and severity of your mental health condition, different providers will approach underwriting terms in different ways but you can expect either a loaded premium or with more severe conditions for it to be excluded from the policy meaning you can’t claim. 


    How do I claim if I develop a mental health issue?

    In the same way you would with claiming for anything else. Calling your provider and then taking further action. You can either speak with the Vitality GP via the app or an NHS GP for an open referral.


    Do I have mental health cover as part of my existing health insurance policy?

    Most insurers now offer some kind as standard cover but you would need to check what was in place when you took your policy out.


    The impact of mental health issues on businesses and the economy

    The cost of poor mental health to businesses is estimated at £42-45 billion per year broken and consists of absenteeism (£6-8bn), staff turnover (£8bn) and presenteeism (£27bn).  

    1 in 6 people will experience a mental health challenge in any given week.  This means that it is highly likely that you currently have employees who are experiencing a psychological challenge.  They have either been managing their symptoms for years and you haven’t noticed or they could really do with some additional support.  

    The most common challenges are excessive stress, anxiety/anxiety disorders and depression.  Less common challenges are bipolar, personality disorders and psychosis.  It is absolutely possible to have a mental health diagnosis, lead a happy, fulfilling life and be a productive and well respected member of staff. 

    An effective mental health strategy will have reactive (eg: access to talking therapy) and proactive (eg: line manager training) elements to ensure employees are able to access the most suitable support at the right time.  Organisation wide culture change and increasing general awareness can be invaluable in dissolving the stigma around mental health and reducing the financial impact. 

    Between 2019 and 2020 the rates of depression have doubled with 1 in 5 adults experiencing it during the pandemic. WillU Financial Group are proud sponsors for charity CALM in their movement against suicide. The CALM helpline and webchat is open 365 days a year, from 5pm – midnight for anyone who needs them, and CALM builds supportive communities, campaigning for a life less miserable for everyone.

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