Does International Health Insurance Cover Mental Health?
It’s important that we consider our mental health in the same way that we look after our physical health. Most people will experience some level of mental health challenges throughout their lives, so it’s vital that we take care of ourselves.
Expats abroad will often take out international health insurance to ensure their physical health can be looked after while they are overseas. But they might not always consider their mental health, plus it’s not always clear whether health insurance policies include mental health. Below, we investigate what expats should consider when looking for an international health insurance policy for their mental health.
Are mental health illnesses included in international health insurance?
Each international health insurance policy will differ. Some providers will include mental health related issues, whilst others will not. It’s vital that you check the working of each policy carefully to ensure you find the right one for your situation.
Often mental health issues aren’t included in international health insurance as standard, but you can add them on to your policy as an extra. This will usually require paying a premium.
If you have received treatment for mental health in recent years, such as visiting a therapist or psychologist, a provider may count this as a pre-existing condition and will not cover you.
What mental health issues could be covered in international health insurance?
Some international health insurance policies will detail what sort of illnesses will be covered by the policy.
Many policies that include mental health cover will include PTSD as a claimable event. PTSD is a disorder that can occur when people experience a highly distressing or traumatic event.
PTSD can be experienced by all sorts of people but is commonly seen in those who work in the emergency services or military. Expats who work in these professions may find themselves more at risk of PTSD and should consider their mental health provision when overseas.
Anxiety and depression are also common disorders that can be covered under some international health insurance policies. Expats who have moved away from their home and are getting used to a new country could find themselves more at risk of these types of mental health issues. It could, therefore, be beneficial to consider mental health provision in their health insurance.
What mental health treatment could be included in international health insurance?
The treatment offered for mental health issues will depend on the provider and also the sorts of illnesses they are delivering cover for. It may be that the illness requires talking therapy, in which case counselling sessions will be provided. This could be on an ongoing basis, or for a pre-determined number of sessions.
Sometimes, access to a mental wellbeing phone line is given. This connects the user with professionals who can support the individual with any problem they are having and direct them to the next steps to take.
For more severe mental health issues, international health insurance may cover a stay in a psychiatric ward or hospital.
What to consider when sharing your history with a health insurance provider
It’s essential that you provide your health insurance provider with an accurate history, which should include both your physical health and your mental health. If you fail to declare something, it could result in your health insurance being voided and the insurer can refuse to pay out if you need to make a claim.
Often, a health insurance provider will request additional information about your health and history, to ensure precise information is obtained. Sometimes a third-party professional, such as a psychiatrist, may need to speak to you to gain more information and offer the provider another opinion.