SINGAPORE: Insurance group AIA has launched an insurance policy that offers coverage for mental illnesses - the first of its kind in Singapore - in what it says is a move aimed at tackling the stigma surrounding these conditions.
The AIA Beyond Critical Care policy will cover five conditions - major depressive disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette Syndrome. The mental health aspect of the policy will provide coverage up to age 75, except for Tourette Syndrome, which will be up to age 21.
Once a policyholder is diagnosed by a psychiatrist for any of the five covered mental illnesses, the mental health benefits from the coverage will be paid out, said AIA in response to Channel NewsAsia's queries.
This is the "first step in acknowledging mental health issues as legitimate health conditions that require treatment and support", said Ms Ho Lee Yen, chief customer and marketing officer at AIA Singapore.
Policyholders will be insured for mental illnesses at 20 per cent of their basic plan's coverage. This means that a customer who holds a basic plan with coverage of S$250,000 will be eligible to S$50,000 for mental health conditions. This payout is capped at a lifetime limit of S$150,000.
Policyholders will also be reimbursed up to S$200 for the cost of health screenings.
One in seven people in Singapore has experienced a mood, anxiety or alcohol use disorder in their lifetime, according to the Singapore Mental Health Study 2016. The study also revealed that obsessive-compulsive disorder is one of the most common mental health conditions in Singapore.
However, the findings also showed that the majority - or about 75 per cent - of people who have experienced a mental disorder in their lifetime did not seek professional help.
“AIA Beyond Critical Care fills the gaps in protection, providing comprehensive coverage for previously unprotected areas," said Ms Ho.