Alea report highlights gaps in mental health protection in Hong Kong, with in-depth research of 20 insurers
HONG KONG, April 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Mental health is one of the most neglected areas of health in the hong kong and the ongoing pandemic has further aggravated the situation. High stress levels and the growing prevalence of mental health issues are prompting consumers to take action and seek help and better protection.
As a leading health and life insurance broker – with a strong focus on mental well-being, Hazard publishes the first-ever research on mental health protection in hong kong: from an in-depth analysis of mental health insurance benefits from 20 well-known insurers to a roundup of recent technology-driven mental health initiatives from insurers.
Mental health toll – a wake-up call for insurers
The growing demand for mental health support has prompted the insurance industry to find innovative ways to help customers get the care they need. It offers insurers the opportunity to be more proactive about mental health solutions and improve their coverage options.
International or local health insurance: pros and cons
International insurance benefits for behavioral health services tend to be more comprehensive, but the downside is the significantly higher premium. It should be kept in mind that hong kong remains the second most expensive jurisdiction in the world for private health care, with medical insurance premiums to match. In contrast, local schemes lag behind international schemes in terms of mental health coverage for outpatient care, with stricter limits applied. Meanwhile, VHIS products provide comprehensive coverage for inpatient psychiatric treatment only, excluding any outpatient mental health coverage.
Closing the protection gap
Mental health benefits in private health insurance plans are generally more capped than benefits for physical health care services, driving reform efforts to achieve parity in coverage. In order to meet that of Hong Kong growing needs for mental health treatment, insurers are extending coverage beyond psychiatry to include more common conditions, with additional coverage for psychological consultations and counselling.
New initiatives from insurers
Insurers have launched initiatives to connect consumers to mental health resources amid the pandemic, developing a range of digital tools aimed at individual wellbeing. These resources add value to insurance offerings and help promote better overall health among policyholders.
Remaining barriers to care
Financial barriers are one of the barriers preventing the public from receiving mental health care. People often cite the cost of care and lack of health insurance coverage as reasons for not seeking mental health care. Additionally, due to the lingering social stigma around mental wellness, many people prefer to avoid the delicacy of making a claim. Insurers can do more to support them in this goal.
“At a time when mental health matters more than ever, we’re proud to shed light on what insurers are doing to address growing mental health risks. More needs to be done, especially when it comes to coverage for pre-existing mental health conditions“, said Amelie Dionne-CharestCo-founder of Alea.
The focus on mental health coverage is growing among insurers working to make mental illness treatment easier and more accessible. They can step up their efforts by rethinking plans to encompass a wider range of mental health services from prevention, detection and treatment to management and recovery.
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