We thank Dr Desmond Wai for his letter (Patients with mental illnesses face insurance obstacles, Oct 10) and agree with a number of the points made.
A multi-pronged approach to treatment is needed in order to help patients suffering from mental illnesses in conjunction with other medical problems.
Life insurers have introduced various forms of coverage for mental illness, including Integrated Shield Plans (IPs), Critical Illness policies that provide coverage for mental health, and Disability Income policies.
Insurers exercise the same considerations for every insurance application received, and no application is rejected outright.
These considerations include medical history, any pre-existing conditions, the duration and severity of the condition, and the individual's risk profile, among others, to arrive at an underwriting decision.
Such an assessment is critical to ensure that insurers can continue to offer insurance policies with affordable coverage to consumers.
We wish to clarify that IPs do reimburse the fees associated with inpatient psychiatric treatment, subject to any policy limits, where the psychiatric condition develops after the IP has been bought.
Public education is crucial to breaking down barriers around mental ill-health, and we, too, are heartened to see the rise of public awareness campaigns aimed at destigmatising mental illness and correcting misinformation.
Life Insurance Association Singapore