Our first blog! Mental Health at the forefont
Spring has arrived so what better time to launch our Medisurance blog which will hopefully entertain with Health Insurance insight, info and updates as well as general health and fitness advice and inspiration as we believe that as Private Medical Insurance brokers, it is our responsibility to not just sell a policy but to educate and encourage a healthier lifestyle so that you reduce your chances of ever needing to claim.
That might sound a bit strange and you’re probably thinking that if we do that great a job of improving your health that you won’t even need the insurance and will cancel it.
Well that’s not the plan, unfortunately no matter how healthy people are, we can all still become unwell, none of us are invincible and sometimes the injuries are sports related so there will always be a need for medical treatment.
The idea is, the less you use a plan, the lower the premium increases which means happy insurers and happy customers and nothing makes us happier than that.
April, along with October, is a time that we tend to see product changes in the industry and Mental Health seems to be an area that insurers are focusing on and making improvements.
Typically mental health claims are treated like any other chronic condition, meaning once the insurer believes the condition is long term in nature and not responding to active treatment, they will stop cover, even for recurrences in the future.
Bupa have decided that whilst they still have a maximum of 45 days in and day-patient cover, they have removed their three year ‘chronic rule’ for members of SME companies, meaning employees will receive cover for recurring conditions.
They have also extended their cover to include alcohol abuse, drug abuse and self-harm which is a first for the industry.
Freedom Health Insurance, a lesser known insurer have increased their cover to be more in line with the market, from £10,000 per policy year for in an day-patient treatment to 45 days with a £2,000 limit for out-patient treatment.
April UK, another smaller insurer, also increased their mental health cover from £8,000 to £20,000 in and day-patient treatment with a £1,500 out-patient limit.
This brings the smaller and often competitively priced insurers more in line with the rest of the market, which is only a good thing for customers as the larger insurers have to continuously up their game and there are more and more options to consider.
If you are feeling pressure or stress from life or work or generally feeling overwhelmed, there are a number of resources available such as www.mind.org.uk
There are also ways to proactively manage your mental health; this could be through physical activity which not only improves physical health but gives you a natural energy boost and improves sleep. When you exercise, your brain chemistry changes through the release of endorphins (sometimes called ‘feel good’ hormones), which can calm anxiety and lift your mood. One study has found that by increasing your activity levels from nothing to exercising at least three times a week, can reduce your risk of depression by almost 20%.
Have a think about what type of activity would work with your lifestyle and more importantly, what you would enjoy. This could be anything from joining the local football club, going on a longer dog walk, swimming, yoga, the list is endless.
‘Mindfulness’ is the buzzword of the moment, which on a very basic level is taking time out of your day, just 10 minutes, to clear your thoughts and draw your attention to your yourself and your feelings and address them in a non-judgemental way to become more aware of yourself and how to react differently to emotions.
For more complex issues, you should seek professional advice but to simply incorporate into your everyday routine, there are many apps available such as Headspace.
Thank you for reading our first blog, I hope you enjoyed it, please let us know what else you would like to hear about from us!
I'm off to the gym...