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    Hundreds accessing mental health services through waiver


    Medibank customers have spent more than 20,000 days in hospital for urgent mental health care after they were able to access the mental health upgrade waiver. In the first nine months of the waiver, more than 700 customers were admitted to hospital.

    Under the government reform introduced on 1 April 2018, patients with limited cover can upgrade to access higher benefits for psychiatric care, without serving a waiting period.

    One in five Australians experience a mental health condition in a given year, and almost one in two will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime.

    CEO Craig Drummond said Medibank is committed to supporting better mental health for all of our customers.

    “Medibank has provided close to $15 million of care to more than 700 customers who were admitted to hospital for mental health care over a nine-month period last year as a result of the waiver,” Mr Drummond said.

    The most common claims were from women aged between 30 to 39 living in metro areas, with customers accessing hospital care as a result of the waiver spending an average of 28 days in hospital. People living in metro areas made 72% of the claims, with 27% coming from rural and regional areas.

    “This highlights the key role the government’s reforms have played in strengthening access to acute mental health services,” Mr Drummond said.

    A further 400 customers who have applied for the waiver are yet to claim but could be preparing for a hospital admission at a later date.

    Medibank spent a total of $193 million on hospital mental health services for our customers in FY2018. As part of our commitment to supporting customers facing mental health issues, Medibank has launched a new service for customers to provide information, advice and support from experienced mental health professionals. Medibank’s Mental Health Phone Support (1800 644 325) can now assist customers with information on the best place to seek help, how to support a loved one, or information about the signs and symptoms of mental health issues.

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