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Thanks for sharing Russell. It really is shocking out there.

Having been involved with MH IP claims my whole career at the more extreme end, there's a massive gap between what people expect and what people get with support.

It really is a massive black hole and the insurers do draw a line when they determine support from the point of not being able to work.

Without insurance the gap is a blue pill from your GP to the mental health crash team and hospitalisation, there's very little in between that's provided publically.

Yes there's some counselling, 3-4 sessions, the rest you pay for at $200+ per hour, but that's tokenism in the scheme of things.

The one area where we have been very good is addiction services, funded and quite well managed, but tough on the patient. Understanding we are dealing with addiction, so it is tough as the addiction needs addressing before the behaviour support and changes can be effective.

I have quite a number of articles talking about the subject on my website, willowgroveinsurance.co.nz.

Right now today, the only support to fill the gap is income protection. Which frankly is not enough for New Zealand families and certainly doesn't recognise the non working members of the family and the issues that someone ill represents to the whole household.

Russell Hutchinson

@JPHALE7 Thanks, JP, it's a big issue and bigger, now, as infectious diseases continue to recede ass a major cause of disability, and mental health issues become a larger component of the overall claims story. This driver of claims should be getting similar coverage to unfunded cancer drugs.


Interestingly Mental health should have significantly more attention than unfunded medicines.

With 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 (depending on who's stats) in NZ suffering right now compared to unfunded medicines making up 15% of Cancer treatments according to Southern Cross stats.

Yes, Unfunded medicines is a large upfront cost, MH, on the other hand, can be a large ongoing cost that is similar in nature from a lifetime perspective.

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