According to the Australian Government, one in five Australians will experience a mental illness at some point in their life. Mental illnesses, also characterised as mental disorders, have profound impacts on individuals and their families.
The Australian Government states a mental illness is any health issue that impacts how a person feels, behaves, thinks and interacts over a long period of time. There are a variety of mental disorders, but some of the most common among Australians are schizophrenia, personality disorders, bipolar and mood disorders, and eating disorders.
A need for treatment
While many Australians suffer from mental illness, getting treatment is sometimes easier said than done. According to The Age, a Melbourne-based news publication, fewer than half of people afflicted with mental illness seek treatment. If you or a loved one suffers from a mental illness, it is important to ensure you have adequate private health insurance to get the treatment you need to move forward with your life.
Many aspects of mental health care are covered by Australian health insurance, but there are many specifics worth researching. In order to be treated as a private patient for psychiatric care, for example, you will need to purchase a private hospital policy. This will cover the cost of your hospital stay, as well as a portion of any medical fees you incur.
Furthermore, not all policies will include psychiatric services, rehabilitation or similar programmes. Compare health insurance so you can select a policy that is right for you.
Fees commonly incurred
If you need mental health care and need to be checked in, there are a variety of fees you may incur that you'll have to pay out of pocket.
Any fees you incur outside of the hospital – such as psychiatric consultations – can only be claimed on Medicare.
Furthermore, if there are any gaps on the services you receive while checked into the hospital, your health fund and Medicare may only cover up to the equivalent of the Medicare Benefits Schedule fee. To combat any problems with this, ask your care provider if he or she has a 'no gap' policy agreement with your private health insurer.
Finally, you may incur co-payments or excess payments depending on the type of private health insurance policy you have.
Because there are a range of fees associated with mental health care, be sure to research plans fully. By comparing health insurance and getting the best rate, you will be able to get the treatment you need to address mental health problems.