Role of private health in supporting mental health

3 minute read

Taking time to look after mental health and wellbeing can sometimes come second to the responsibilities of being a doctor.

Unfortunately, the demands of a life in medicine often lead to doctors reporting more than double the rate of psychological distress compared to the Australian population.1

This is why it is important to understand the services available to you if you are worried about your mental health.

How can private health cover help?

Australia’s dual public and private healthcare system provides access to a variety of services to support mental health. If you are looking to access services in an outpatient setting, your private health cover may be one avenue that can help you.

Most health funds provide benefits for services with a psychologist or counsellor through extras or general treatment cover. Over 60% of Doctors’ Health Fund members already access these types of services between one and three times every year.

Accessing the services of a psychologist or counsellor through your private health cover can have some real benefits. Here’s our top three.

You decide when and how to access services

Private health cover provides flexible and timely access to services, which means it can be easier to seek treatment if and when you need it.

Most health funds reset their benefit limits at the beginning of each calendar year, and you can decide when to use your limits throughout that year. Options for how you access your treatment have also expanded since the onset of COVID-19, with health funds offering benefits for both face-to-face and telehealth or video consultations.

It is important to check with your health fund to understand what they offer and any benefit conditions, and whether these are well suited to your needs.

Services are independent and confidential

While private health cover supports you with access to routine preventive care and treatment, it leaves the care management between you and your healthcare provider. You can be assured in knowing the care you receive is kept confidential and any treatment details are not recorded under your health cover policy.

Unlike the mental health benefits that are available through Medicare, there are no requirements for referrals or check-ins from your GP when using your private health cover limits. As the patient, you are in control of the services you access. You can read more on how mental health benefits differ between private health insurance and Medicare on the Doctors’ Health Fund website.

You have peace of mind and choice

Your private health cover is designed to support your healthcare needs throughout life.

The choice and access that private health cover promotes can help you find what is right for you. Some health funds, including Doctors’ Health Fund, give you greater choice by not having any preferred provider networks with extras cover. This means that you are not restricted in choosing the healthcare provider that suits you.

Caring for yourself and your health as you would your own patients is incredibly important. This includes knowing the services that are available to you, if and when you need them.

Doctors’ Health Fund provides health cover to members of the medical community and their families. To understand how Doctors’ Health Fund can support your health needs, view cover options or get in touch with our expert team, visit their website.

For the medical profession in particular, Avant provides a variety of doctor support options on their health and wellbeing website.

1beyondblue. National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students. 2013.

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