Health insurance for mental health

January 25, 2023
minutes read time

When shopping around for health insurance policies, you may have the option to include mental health support services. This may be included as standard in your policy or may be an addition to your health insurance cover, which means you’ll have access to mental health support alongside diagnosis and treatment for physical conditions.

How does mental health cover work with health insurance?

Some health insurance plans enable you to include a mental health cover as an add on option to form part of your health insurance plan.  Mental health cover as an add on may provide you access to preventative talking therapies, consultants, specialists and access to treatment. Each health insurance provider has different levels and limits of cover when it comes to mental health, many Insurers now include some support within the core cover without including an add on, for example talk therapies, mindfulness apps, aimed to prevent, support and rehabilitate mental illnesses.

Mental health coverage alongside health insurance may result in an additional premium, or you may have the option of purchasing an inclusive policy that includes mental health as standard. However, having additional mental health cover if it is an add on to the core cover may come at an additional cost. We can help you understand your options and the prices, please contact us by getting in touch.

What treatments and services are covered?

What’s included in your policy will depend on your provider and which options you choose to include. You could have the following mental health support services available to you:

  • Mental health support - Helplines and digital services where you can speak to designated support teams trained to assist you with mental health.
  • Family mental health support - Talk to a support team over the phone if your children are suffering with mental health, or you have any concerns.
  • Digital GP services - Speak to a GP about your mental health concerns or illnesses over the phone or via video consultations.
  • Private GP services - See a GP in person to receive mental health support and diagnosis.
  • Wellness apps - Access apps that provide recommendations and guidance on actions you can take to improve your mental health, such as meditating.
  • Community support - Join a virtual community of individuals who discuss and support one another with mental health problems. 
  • Counselling sessions - Meet counselors virtually or in-person to discuss your mental health.
  • Wellbeing rewards - Your provider may offer benefits when you complete activities that can help to improve your mental health, such as exercising.

What are the benefits of including mental health cover in my policy?

Mental health cover won’t cover you for pre-existing conditions, including chronic mental health conditions. It will provide, support and access for new eligible conditions. The exact list of what’s included will depend on your provider and eligibility based on your medical history. Here is an example of some of the types of illnesses mental health cover can assist with:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder 
  • Depression
  • Dissociative disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • OCD
  • Personality disorders
  • Phobias
  • Postnatal depression
  • Psychosis
  • PTSD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance abuse

Are any mental health conditions excluded?

Insurers may not cover chronic or pre-existing conditions. If there are any specific mental illnesses, you’d like to learn more about, please don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll aim to help you understand the options available across all insurers and find the right solution for you. Here are some examples of conditions that may be excluded from cover; 

  • Dementia - this is considered an incurable, chronic condition, and therefore it may not be covered.
  • Learning and behavioural problems - while these conditions may not be covered, some of the side effects may be included, such as anxiety or depression.
  • Pre existing conditions - If you have previously suffered from mental health conditions, your provider may exclude treatments and services relating to them. However, this may not automatically exclude you from receiving support for other mental health illnesses, but may be limited.
  • Addiction and substance abuse – although some policies may offer cover for these conditions a number of policies will exclude addiction and substance abuse.

Why is mental health support important?

Mental health may be just as important as physical health and considering a policy that provides cover for both may be more effective at improving your overall wellbeing. To help you understand why mental health insurance may be needed, we’ve referenced some facts, which you can learn more about by visiting Mind’s website.

“25% of people in England will experience a mental health problem each year”
“There was a 20% increase in common mental health illnesses between 1993 to 2014 in both men and women”
“Every week in England, 8 out of 100 individuals will experience mixed anxiety and depression”
“Every week in England, 4 out of 100 individuals will experience post-traumatic stress disorder”
“In England, 2 out of 100 individuals will experience bipolar disorder in their lifetime”

How much does mental health insurance cost?

Full mental health cover isn't always included as standard when purchasing a health insurance policy, which means it may increase the cost of your monthly or annual payments if you decide to include it. How much your premiums increase will depend on several factors, such as the following:

  1. Insurance provider - as each provider offers varying products and services, some may be more expensive than others.
  2. Policy limits - limits define how many mental health services you can access within your policy. The higher the limit, the greater the cost.

Mental health insurance limits

Your mental health insurance cover will include a limit on how many support services you can access, and/or a limit on the value of the services you can receive. For example, this may be 8 counselling sessions in a year, or up to the equivalent of £800 in cost. 

When building your policy, you may have the option to increase or reduce your limits, and therefore the amount you’re covered for. This may have a direct impact on your monthly or annual policy payments.

How can you get mental health insurance cover included?

If you’re ready to compare your mental health insurance options, there are several routes that you can take. The avenue you choose is up to you, but to help you decide, we’ve provided some information on some of the most common options:

  1. Contact providers directly - You can contact insurance providers directly, but they won’t be able to compare their products or answer questions about other providers.
  2. Use a comparison site - Comparison sites may help you to compare options and get an understanding of the price, but may not provide you with additional information, support and help.
  3. Utilise an independent unbiased broker - Independent brokers work with many providers, and they’ll aim to compare your options across multiple products, answer your questions and support you before, during and after purchasing.

Can I add mental health cover if I already have health insurance?

If you’ve already purchased a health insurance policy, you may not have the option to change your cover mid contract. However, when it comes to renewing your health insurance policy, you may have the opportunity to include mental health cover. 

We also offer a health insurance switch service which may help you to change your cover, but you’ll need to get in touch with us so that we can advise you accordingly.

Speak to an independent broker for your mental health insurance needs

As independent health insurance brokers, we’ll aim to find you the most competitive policy that covers you for your mental health needs. We work with the major UK providers and offer unbiased support and advice to anyone looking to purchase cover of this type. We offer this service for free, and if you compare your options with us, you’re under no obligation to purchase a policy through us. To get started, provide us with some contact details and we’ll be in touch.

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Jasmine Albano
Written by
Jasmine Albano

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