Bupa launches mental health cover plan

Bupa launches mental health cover plan

Bupa has launched which it claims is the most extensive mental health cover available for businesses and their employees.

The Business Mental Health Advantage plan, which is available from 1 April, will cover all mental health conditions and help employees get long-term support.

Bupa said the launch came in response to a growing demand from businesses for mental health support, with conditions covered including depression, bipolar and anxiety as well as often-excluded conditions such as alcohol and drug abuse.

Bupa Insurance UK chief executive Alex Perry said: "Mental health is one of the biggest people issues that businesses face today. This launch makes it possible for business leaders to provide better support for their colleagues."

The number of employees who have claimed for mental health treatment has doubled over the past decade, with mental health now estimated to cost employers up to £42bn a year.

The Government has called on companies to provide more support for employees struggling with mental health – it is estimated that some 70 million working days are lost each year because of related conditions.

Brian Walters, principal of Cheltenham-based medical insurance broker Regency Health, said: "This is an excellent initiative from Bupa that will benefit both employers and employees in an area where NHS provision is lacking.

"Advisers should ensure they discuss mental health cover with group administrators and there would have to be a good reason for such cover not to be included."

The plan will remove time limits on treatment and provide ongoing support for the monitoring and maintenance of mental health conditions. It will also offer digital tools to help employees manage their stress.

Stuart Scullion, chairman of the Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries said: "There are businesses that want to create a work culture where their employees feel comfortable starting a conversation around mental health.

"This launch from Bupa puts employee support front and centre and UK businesses can be confident they’re providing access to first class mental health benefits and service."