Mental health has long been a topic gaining more awareness and attention in Singapore. In 2023, 56.6% of Singaporeans have sought out professional help at least once, with the government proposing establishing a National Mental Health Office by 2025 to oversee strategies and implementation, as well as future mental health care developments.
Mental health treatment is a long-term process. Costs do play a vital role in influencing the decision for an individual to seek help. Financial and public institutions have launched initiatives to offset the persisting high costs of mental healthcare. Last year, Income Insurance launched the “SNACK Self Care Pack“. With a monthly plan of just S$9.90, it aims to promote greater access to psychiatric consultations and psychotherapy sessions. We’ve made a list of trusted insurance providers you can rely on to get the support you or your loved ones need.
Mental Wellness Insurance & Financial Support: Coverage for Anxiety & Depression
- Private Insurance Coverage
- Public Insurance Coverage
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Financial Schemes That Encourage Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace
Private Insurance Coverage
SNACK Self Care Pack is designed as an ‘active recovery and preventive’ solution to support mental well-being and encourage early treatments. SNACK subscribers get coverage of up to $200/month for psychiatric consultation, and $500/month for psychotherapy.
The plan can be started or put on hold at any time. Claims can be made easily through the Income mobile app. The downside is that subscribers with pre-existing mental conditions who are currently seeing a psychiatrist will not be eligible for claim within 12 months unless the coverage is for a different condition. The coverage is also not liable to inpatient hospitalisation or post-hospitalisation conditions.
AIA became the first insurer to offer a policy covering mental health conditions with the Beyond Critical Care Insurance Plan (BCCIP) in 2019. The BCCIP also provides premium coverage and claims with protection against 187 conditions. That includes 150 multi-stage critical illnesses, with 100% pay assured for early-to-critical illnesses such as Major head trauma and Severe dementia.
It also provides wellness packages such as Mental Wellbeing Benefit, Holistic Critical Illness Protection and a 100% Refund of Premium Benefits.
With Mental Wellbeing Benefit, you get 20% of the coverage amount (up to S$50,000/claim) until age 75 for five major mental illnesses—Major depressive disorder (MDD), Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and Tourette syndrome (up to age 21).
Great Eastern offers 3 plans that include mental health coverage. The GREAT CareShield plan covers accident-related mental disabilities such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury that hinder performance in daily living such as feeding oneself and getting dressed.
The Pay Assure plan will cover some, if not all, regular living expenses should you lose your job due to the onset of a critical illness or mental condition like Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Last but not least, the GREAT Family Care is a multi-generational critical illness term plan which includes your family members as riders to cover elderly mental disorders such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Postnatal depression remains a prevalent sub-category of mental illness, affecting 7% to 9% of Singaporean mothers. With Manulife’s ReadyMummy, the insurance coverage plan is designed to provide support specifically to expectant mothers.
The 3-year plan protects new moms from mental symptoms such as Insomnia-induced mental fatigue, Anxiety and Mood disorders, beginning from the first 13 weeks into pregnancy until the third policy year. It pays out 10% of the insured amount for in-hospital care expenditures and psychotherapy treatments such as cognitive-behavioural therapy.
The package also covers up to 14 pregnancy complications such as Miscarriage and Stillbirth, as well as post-delivery child protection.
Public Insurance Coverage
While not as comprehensive as for physical illnesses, the Singapore healthcare system does provide coverage for mental health treatments.
The Chronic Disease Management Program (CDMP) covers prominent mental conditions such as Anxiety and Schizophrenia, as well as neurological diseases such as Seizures, Epilepsy and Parkinson’s. CDMP is available in most of Singapore’s public hospitals, Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOCs), polyclinics, and over 1250 GP and private specialist clinics.
For Singapore citizens and permanent residents, you can use MediSave to purchase CDMP. MediSave is a health savings scheme set up by the Central Provident Fund (CPF), which retains 8-10% of your current income for your future healthcare expenses.
CDMP patients with complex chronic conditions, including mental illness, can save up to $700 per year on outpatient chronic disease bills. Each claim is subjected to a 15% co-payment in cash. MediSave can also be used to upgrade your CPF-approved MediShield Life insurance to Integrated Shield Plan, which combines basic public healthcare with specified coverages from your preferred private insurers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What happens if I have sought help before but am undiagnosed?
If you purchased your insurance before developing or being diagnosed with a mental illness, you will still be partially covered. By upgrading to Integrated Shield Plans, you are eligible for Inpatient Psychiatric Treatment. This allows you to be cared for by doctors/psychiatrists for up to 35 days.
Is therapy covered by insurance?
Medishield Life can be used for costly outpatient treatments, including therapies. Not only that, it covers up to 35 days of Inpatient Psychiatric for severe mental illnesses and addictive disorders. You can also check the Whitecoat app, which provides teleconsultations with certified psychologists, and allows you to pay via AIA’s Beyond Critical Care Insurance Plan (BCCIP).
Can I still get covered if I’ve been diagnosed before?
Most private insurers have yet to offer coverage for pre-diagnosed serious mental conditions. However, MediShield Life does. MediShield Life is designed to cover nine out of ten bills, up to 80% if you seek treatments in public healthcare institutions.
Financial Schemes That Encourage Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace
Caregiver stress in Singapore has skyrocketed in recent years, with over 40% are at risk of depression due to constant caring of their wards. Singlife partnered with SG Assist to offer a one-year Group Term Life insurance to the first 200 caregivers signed up for SG Assist’s CaregiverCircle membership programme.
The initiative pays out S$100,000 to caregivers’ nominated beneficiaries, in the event where a terminal illness or permanent disability prevents caregivers from performing their duties. A 15% extended lifetime premium for Singlife’s CareShield Standard and CareShield Plus was also introduced for all SG Assist Caregiver Circle members to promote financial support.
Hybrid working remains a preferred format, with 60% wanting hybrid work or fully remote work. Chubb offers a Work From Home insurance plan at an annual premium of S$38 per employee. In addition to covering domestic perils such as slips and falls, the policy also covers up to $500 for mental health support.
If left unattended, mental health issues can contribute to longer-term damage physically and emotionally. Treating the illnesses can pose a financial burden, particularly on young Singaporeans and those of low-income families.
We encourage every individual to get educated on the best coverage and financial assistance packages available to find the one best suited for you and your loved ones. To maintain regular follow-up for your treatments, get better, and take charge of a healthier life.