Bupa has increased its mental health Extras limit by $200 to give more than 2.2 million customers a boost as they continue to grapple with the health, financial, and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The insurer has increased its Extras mental health benefit following a surge in first-time mental health claimants in 2020. Bupa health insurance managing director Emily Amos said the initiative, which is available until December 31, 2021, reflects the pandemic's significant impact on Australians' mental health and wellbeing.
“Supporting the mental wellbeing of our community is a significant challenge to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with many Australians accessing mental healthcare for the first time,” she said. “Customers have said they want more accessibility to mental health services, and it is an important part of their products, especially for younger members. We hope this helps ease the stress on our customers' minds and hip-pockets in 2021.”
Last year, 54% of mental health claims paid by Bupa were made by customers using Extras services for the first time. Amos said the insurer is always looking to improve its policies so they remain relevant to customers' evolving needs, particularly over the past year, where mental health has been a major focus.
As part of its commitment to focus on customers' mental health and wellbeing, the insurer has also expanded its Mind Care Choices program, which delivers mental health services as an outreach model of care accessible in a clinic, home, or over the phone.
“We've seen real innovation in how customers want to access mental health care. Our customers are now covered for digital mental health online courses, while psychology has been the most used service since we made telehealth available in March last year,” Amos said. “The health landscape has changed dramatically over the past year, and we are committed to supporting our customers and adapting our products through the uncertainty of COVID-19 and into the future.”