Life insurer TAL has partnered with virtual healthcare provider Teladoc Health to offer additional mental health support to TAL customers.
The program, Mental Health Assist, was initially offered to some of TAL's advised customers and those with insurance through superannuation. Now, it will be available to eligible TAL customers on claims with a mental health condition.
Dr Priya Chagan, the general manager for health services at TAL, commented that Mental Health Assist aims to improve customers' mental health outcomes by fast-tracking access to a team of multidisciplinary mental health experts tailored to the customers' situation.
“We are delighted to be able to offer this additional mental health support to our customers,” Dr Chagan said. “Leading psychologists and psychiatrists can conduct a review of the customer's mental health via video conferencing and provide detailed treatment plans.”
TAL's White Paper on Mental Health and Life Insurance found that access to mental health support in Australia is stretched, with only 13 psychiatrists per 100,000 people and 88 psychologists per 100,000 people, which is low compared to other developed countries.
Dr Chagan said: “This can lead to long waiting times for expert care, which can have an adverse impact on a person’s recovery journey. Through ‘Mental Health Assist’, eligible TAL customers will be able to access the mental healthcare they need in only nine days, with a tailored team of experts to support them and their recovery journey.”
TAL head of mental health Glenn Baird added: “‘Mental Health Assist’ has been designed by Teladoc Health for the Australian life insurance market, and it has been delivering outstanding outcomes for the past two years. It has had some great success in improving patient mental health outcomes, seeing up to a 68% improvement in depression symptoms within three months and improved work attendance and productivity for patients who return to work.
“This program will enable us to continue to improve outcomes for TAL customers experiencing mental health conditions.”