More Australians living with mental illness are seeking treatment for the conditions, according to a recent study released by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) on February 6.
Mental health issues will affect almost one in five Australians during their lifetimes and are the leading cause of disease and disability in Australia.
Despite this, evidence collected in 2007 revealed only one-third of individuals living with a mental illness accessed treatment for their condition, which resulted in high rates of economic and personal suffering.
However, population treatment rates for mental conditions in Australia increased by 9 per cent between 2006-07 and 2009-10, according to recent data analysed by the Australian Health Review.
This shows almost half (46 per cent) of those Australians living with a mental health disorder actively seek treatment for their condition.
The authors of the study believe this impressive uptake of treatment is driven by access to the Federal Government's Better Access program. The number of individuals using this service rose from 10.1 per cent in 2006-07 to 27.6 per cent in 2009-10.
Additionally, Australians who hold private health insurance can also benefit from effective mental health treatment received in hospital. This may include access to services and counselling received outside of hospital, under a comprehensive extras insurance policy.
However, if you are hoping to cover mental health treatment under a private health insurance policy, you may want to review any waiting periods, limitations and gap payments to which your benefits could be subject.
Not all Australian health insurance funds provide benefits for psychiatric services and rehabilitation, so it is important to understand what your policy will cover before seeking treatment.
To ensure you choose the right policy for your requirements, you may wish to perform a thorough health insurance comparison. If you need assistance with this process, contact HICA today.
HICA is a specialist health insurance broker that can offer an obligation-free quote and private health insurance comparison to help you find the policy best for your treatment needs.