withbeautiful flickr 2014

Easy and quick access to mental health diagnosis and support has been added to the range of services that Kiwis can call on from Accuro Health Insurance.

About 47% of New Zealanders will experience a mental illness and/or addiction at some time in their lives, with one in five people affected in any one year.

— Ministry of Health

“For many, issues such as depression or anxiety really affect their lives. Yet a lot of people don’t seek help or have issues with their treatment plan.” says Geoff Annals, CEO of Accuro Health Insurance, a not-for-profit health insurer based in Wellington.  “The Government announced significant mental health funding this year, yet access to specialists can still be very limited, with long wait times, and can also be very expensive.”

“So Accuro is launching Mental Health Navigator in partnership with Best Doctors. First launched in Canada in 2016, Mental Health Navigator has since launched in Australia and will soon be launching in Europe. Accuro members are amongst the first New Zealanders to have access to this service.  Mental Health Navigator is completely free for Accuro members to use alongside their specialist insurance cover, which includes a $500 benefit towards further consultations with NZ registered psychologists and psychiatrists, should follow up be required.

The Mental Health Navigator is available from 1st September, for everyone covered by an Accuro Specialist Plan, aged 18+. It’s designed to break down barriers by providing fast, comprehensive and confidential access to a team of mental health professionals. A call to the Mental Health Navigator number will be answered by a specialist mental health nurse and followed up within 10-14 days by a video call with specialist psychologists and psychiatrists. This team can diagnose mental health conditions, develop a treatment plan, or act as a valuable second opinion. The mental health nurse then provides follow up support over the next 6-12 months.

“Fast access to diagnosis and treatment is an important part of people getting better before they get worse, and with typical wait times of two to six months through the public system, we feel access within two weeks can make a dramatic difference to a person’s wellbeing,” says Geoff Annals. “Mental Health Navigator is free, and people can access the service without having to leave their own home, an important detail for members who might be fearful of hospital appointments, or have trouble travelling to them.”

 “This is the first time such a quick, easy and professional mental health support service has been available to New Zealanders through health insurance. The Accuro Mental Health Navigator joins Best Doctors, SkinVision, our wellbeing Health Hub and bowel cancer screening kits as active benefits that Accuro offers its members in supporting their health before they might need to call us. We call it Active Insurance,” adds Geoff Annals.

More information about the mental health navigator can be found here.

Accuro started out as a health insurance provider to health professionals and now specialises in health insurance for all New Zealanders. The not for profit, based in Wellington, has been recommended consumer experts for the last 10 years and won Innovation of the Year at the 2018 New Zealand Insurance Industry Awards. www.accuro.co.nz

More information about the New Zealand Insurance Industry (ANZIIF) Awards 2018 is available at: https://anziif.com/events/nz-insurance-industry-awards/award-winners

More information on Consumer Magazine’s health insurance survey; https://www.consumer.org.nz/services/health-insurance-policies/guide

Best Doctors was founded in 1989 by Harvard Medical School professors and is a global benefits provider that serves millions of people in every major region of the world. They use cutting-edge technology, rigorous processes and the best medical minds to connect people facing a health problem with experts considered top in their field. Best Doctors helps patients make medical decisions with confidence, whether you need a second opinion or answers to personal health questions, Best Doctors can help.