Is mental health care covered by health insurance?

It’s not just physical problems health insurance could help with

Health insurance can offer a warm helping hand for your body AND mind. But what’s covered, what type of support you can get, and any restrictions you’ll face, depends on individual insurers and policies.

Health insurance for private mental health care

Along with physical problems, health cover can also extend to mental health conditions – helping to pay for the cost of any treatment and offering up general and preventative support.

Some health insurance policies include mental health as standard, some serve up specific mental health add-ons that cost more, and some (like ours) throw in a mix of both. So, it’s important to check any policy carefully to pin down exactly what you’re getting.

One of the red-hot benefits of having mental health insurance as part of your health cover is that you might be able to jump into getting treatment quicker, when compared to other routes like NHS waiting lists.

Health insurance for mental health pre-existing conditions

Normally, health insurance is meant for new or unexpected medical issues that develop after you take out cover.

So, many policies won’t cover a pre-existing condition of either the mental or physical kind. A pre-existing condition is when you've already had symptoms, medication, advice, treatment or diagnostic tests for a disease, illness or injury before taking out the policy. 

Having a history of mental illness isn’t a total roadblock to taking out health insurance. But you may find the policy doesn’t cover your condition or there are certain requirements to tick off.

But if you develop a new unrelated mental health problem after taking out your policy, this might be covered. For example, if you previously suffered from stress but later develop depression. Find out more about pre-existing conditions and health insurance.

What conditions are covered?

Common mental health conditions include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse. But you’ll want to check with individual insurers to nail down exactly what conditions they do or don’t cover.

You may also find that insurers have different cover options or requirements for inpatient or outpatient care. With inpatient care you need a hospital bed, while with outpatient care (like counselling) you don’t.

Plus, you may run into time or cost limitations with treatment. For example, your insurer might pay for treatment up to a certain cost amount, or if your insurance covers something like therapy you may only get a certain number of sessions.

Extra support

Something else to consider when you’re shopping around for health insurance is added benefits. From helplines to online resources, these often come at no extra cost, and you can start using them as soon as you take out the policy. They’re there as extra support. A way to look after your general wellbeing and potentially stop problems growing or taking root in the first place.

What we offer

Our health insurance automatically includes up to £2,000 of cover for outpatient mental health treatment if you’re referred by your GP.

With the Aviva Digital GP app, provided by Square Health, you’ll be able to get a digital appointment 24/7 with an NHS-registered private GP. You’ll have five video consultations each member every policy year to use.

Plus, you’ll be able to tap into our Stress Counselling helpline, which gives you the chance to talk to trained counsellors privately about anything that’s bothering you. You can also dive into our mental health support articles for easy to access information that could help with your mental health plan.

With our health insurance, you also have the option to add on inpatient and daypatient care for an extra cost. With this cover, if you're diagnosed with an acute mental health condition, we'll pay inpatient and daypatient accommodation and nursing costs in full up to 28 days. Plus, we’ll pay specialist fees for inpatient treatment, in line with our fee guidelines.

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