Mental health insurance explained
In the UK, the NHS provides mental health services. But the waiting time to receive help can be long. Paying for private care is often expensive too. And this is where insurance with mental health cover can help.
Does health insurance cover mental health?
Insurers usually cover treatment for acute conditions. This includes treatment to deal with the causes of anxiety and depression. But, they don't necessarily cover chronic, or long-term treatment to keep the symptoms under control. Conditions such as dementia, and learning and development disorders, are usually excluded.
Insurers may offer different levels of cover too. They may pay for out-patient, in-patient or day-patient treatment.
You should speak to the insurer to check what they will cover. You can then select the level of mental health cover on your plan.
What counts as a mental health condition?
A mental health condition is any disorder that affects your mood, the way you think or how you behave. They are often distressing and can affect your social life, work and relationships.
There are many kinds of mental health conditions. Some mental health conditions have a biological cause. Dementia, for instance, is caused by physical changes in the brain as people get older. Others may be caused by social factors. For example, a big change in your personal circumstances, such as a divorce.
Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health conditions, but there are many others. These include:
- bipolar disorder
- eating disorders like bulimia
What do I need to disclose to an insurer?If you’re taking out health insurance that covers mental health, you should disclose any conditions you may have. Mental health cover is just like cover for other health conditions. Chronic and pre-existing conditions aren’t usually covered.
How do I claim if I develop a mental health issue?
Mental health conditions can be very distressing. But having health insurance that covers mental health means you can at least get help fast.
Relevant guides and articles
Private health insurance
Private medical insurance helps pay for any high, unexpected private medical bills you may need covered. Find out more about our offering here.
Our health insurance includes eight online or face-to-face Talking Therapy sessions each plan year. You can also choose extra Mental Health Cover with full cover Talking Therapy sessions.
Find out how to get an online doctor appointment via the Vitality GP app. Available to members with an eligible Vitality health insurance plan.