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Mental illness and insurance application
The terms offered by different life insurers vary depending on each company’s premium rates, product features and underwriting policy. The likelihood that your application will be accepted will be determined by a range of factors relating to your mental illness history. These include the seriousness of your mental health condition, its impact on your employment and lifestyle, the success of any treatment, management strategies and any ongoing symptoms.

You should make sure you understand the application process and different application options (e.g. online, by telephone, or in person). For example, online applications may have different underwriting guidelines to other products regarding past and present physical and mental illnesses. It is strongly recommended that before making any decision, you speak first to a representative from the insurance company. When considering a life insurance product it is important that you read and understand the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) as it fully describes the product, its benefits and any limitations.

More from www.psychology.org.au

Once your Income Protection Policy is in force, can it be cancelled due to mental illness?

No. Insurance law states that once your policy is in force and you disclosed your medical history at the time of application, as long as you continue to pay your Income Protection premiums the insurance company can not cancel the policy. The great thing about quality Income Protection policies and the current system of underwriting at the time of application is that your risk to the insurance company is calculated at the time of application, any change in your health, occupation or other risk ratings does not affect your policy cost or terms ongoing.

More from www.lifeshield.com.au

Mental Health Treatment and Private Health Insurance

Mental illnesses are of different types and degrees of severity. Some of the major types are depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder, personality disorders, and eating disorders.

Most mental illnesses can be effectively treated. Recognising the early signs and symptoms of mental illness and accessing effective treatment early is important. The earlier treatment starts, the better the outcome. A visit to a GP should be your first step in seeking help with your problem. Your GP can discuss any concerns you have and give you advice on what to do next.

Some aspects of mental health care can be covered on private health insurance, including hospital admissions and psychology services.

To be covered as a private patient for psychiatric treatment or drug and alcohol rehabilitation, you can purchase a private hospital policy. Private hospital insurance covers the cost of hospital accommodation and a portion of the medical fees.

A hospital admission may be for an extended period but it can also be overnight or for a day admission only (where you are treated and discharged on the same day).

Unlike other pre-existing conditions, which normally require you to complete 12 months of membership before you can be covered for a hospital admission, psychiatric services and rehabilitation only require a 2 month waiting period, even if the condition is pre-existing. This means you can be covered 2 months after commencing a policy.

More from www.ombudsman.gov.au

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Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning is a process that helps you to plan for future medical care. This process involves thinking about your values, beliefs and your wishes about what medical care you would like to have if you cannot make your own decisions.

An important part of the planning process is to discuss your wishes with your family and other people who are close to you, as well as talking to your General Practitioner or other health professionals about any medical conditions you have.

You may also choose to write down your wishes in an Advance Care Directive, which outlines your specific treatment wishes.

As part of the Advance Care Planning process, you may decide to write an Advance Care Directive. An Advance Care Directive records your specific wishes about treatment that you would like to have in the event of life-threatening illness or injury, and any treatments you would refuse.

There is no specific form to use for an Advance Care Directive. There are some template Advance Care Directive forms. You can use any of these examples, or simply write a letter or statement about your wishes. It is a good idea to discuss your wishes and treatment options with your treating doctor. You can request that your Enduring Guardian refer to your Advance Care Plan or Directive before making any medical or health decisions. No one can override your Advance Care Directive, not even your legally appointed guardian.

Your treating doctor will consider your Advance Care Directive to be valid if:
  • you had capacity when you wrote it and you made it voluntarily
  • it has clear and specific details about treatments that you would accept or refuse
  • it is current and extends to the circumstances at hand.

    Your Advance Care Directive does not need to be witnessed, but it is a good idea to do so. There are no prescribed witnesses for Advance Care Directives.

    Doctors and health care professionals will only refer to your Advance Care Directive if you are unable to make your own decisions.

    You should keep your Advance Care Directive in a place that is easily accessible for you or for others to obtain if needed. Keeping a copy close to you (such as in your wallet) is sometimes suggested. You should also give a copy of your Advance Care Directive to your Person Responsible, doctor, health care facility, family members or other important people in your life. Remember to give updated copies to these people whenever you change your Advance Care Directive.

    More information from advancecareplanning.org.au

    Please ask our doctors if you would like to discuss or obtain a Advance Care Directive.

  • The information in the above were collected from the internet,
    either from government websites or from reasonably reliable health information sources.
    They are for general information only and should not replace the need of seeking medical care during illnesses.

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