AIA renews calls for mental health law reform
Life insurer AIA Australia and New Zealand has once again flagged concerns over current federal legislation preventing insurers from funding treatment for clients with mental health problems.
Under current legal arrangements, insurers are not permitted to fund rehabilitation services or medical treatments for people with mental illness; AIA first called for a repeal of these laws in January this year.
Speaking at a conference in Sydney on Thursday, AIA Australia and New Zealand managing director Damien Mu once again challenged the current legal arrangements.
“The current legislative barriers that restrict life insurers from funding medical treatments for mental health condition represent a breakdown of Australia’s health care system to keep up with one of the fastest growing issues we are confronting as a community,” he said.
“Change is long overdue.”
Mr Mu said he was hopeful an investigation into early intervention by life insurers currently being led by the parliamentary joint committee may catalyse a shift in policy.
“This inquiry is a positive first step and the government and industry must work together to remove this anomaly from the health system so life insurers are allowed to pay for rehabilitation services and medical treatments for people who suffer from a mental illness,” he said.
“There is currently a gap in the health system where people may be unable to receive or afford the support they need, at the time they need it most. We believe life insurers can help to fill this void through funding medical treatments.”
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