Mental health disorders we encounter are just as serious as physical ailments – and they can result in out-of-pocket healthcare costs not covered by your government health plan. That’s why health insurance covers a wide array of benefits for all your healthcare needs. With so many individuals and families managing mental health issues, getting the care you need should not be a “luxury” affordable only for a few. Your health insurance can save you hundreds of dollars, making it easier for you to cope financially and take good care of yourself and your family.
Here are some of the ways health insurance supports mental health care.
Sometimes talking to a supportive friend or family member isn’t enough. That’s why speaking to a mental health professional with a neutral point of view and expertise in providing support can help.
While treatment from a psychiatrist or your GP will usually not cost you anything, expenses for other therapy – including marriage and family therapy, or addiction counselling – can really add up.
Visits for counselling provided by a psychologist or social worker can help you think about your problems differently and give you ways to manage, and usual and customary fees charged are generally covered under your health insurance, up to the plan maximum covered per year. Check your policy to understand your plan’s maximum.
Many individuals find that prescription medication decreases their suffering and improves their quality of life. Treatment may continue for many years.
Most health insurance plans cover costs for a wide variety of prescription drugs. If you are given a prescription for a certain medication and are uncertain if it is covered under your plan, call our office and we can look the information up for you (we will need the DIN of the drug to determine if it is covered). You can also take your benefit plan card to your pharmacist and they will be able to advise you if the medication is covered.
When it comes to improving your overall well-being in mind, body and spirit, you may consider alternative therapies. Naturopathic doctors, Swedish and shiatsu massage performed by registered therapists and eastern-based acupuncture are just some of the options individuals choose. These services are not covered by your government health plan and you will be charged a fee, which may be partly covered by your health insurance.
Chiropractic adjustments are often sought to help release muscle tension, and chiropractors can offer relaxation techniques to help patients manage stress.
Like coverage for other registered therapists, the dollar amount covered per visit and the annual combined maximum benefit will be outlined in your health insurance plan.
Take a close look at your health insurance plan to discover many “built in” tools that can help you learn new ways to deal with the expected and unexpected in life:
- Mindfulness tools that help individuals connect with the moment instead of reliving past regrets or worrying about the future
- Medical second opinions from doctors at top hospitals evaluate diagnoses and treatment plans in confidence, without having to travel or wait for an appointment
- Motivational programs to help you focus and achieve your health goals
- Access to recent articles on finding care, managing your health, and preventing illness
- Easy-to-use search tools to help you find a doctor, health facility, or community support group in your area
- Provincial health resource information
- Trusted information on conditions and prescription drugs
Your health insurance plan will provide online access and may even have a handy app for you to download on your phone to make managing your mental health easier.
Choosing your health insurance or understanding all its features can be stressful. At SBIS, we can help. Just give us a call; we’re ready to answer your questions.