You owe yourself a second opinion
Getting a second opinion for your illness or treatment can have a big impact on your life – it can change your health outcome or give you comfort that your treatment plan is the right one, writes Natalie Cameron of MLC Life Insurance.
Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia, and the number of new cases per year is on the rise. By 2020, it’s expected that 150,000 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the country, up from an estimated 138,000 new cases in 2018.
With such high cancer rates, many of us worry about the day our doctor tells us to take a seat, and delivers the bad news. I realise these statistics are not doing any good for anybody’s frame of mind; however, there’s some positive news.
Life insurers are having a greater focus on the prevention, detection and treatment of illness, rather than simply waiting for a customer to claim and confining our job to processing payments and paperwork.
I have found it encouraging to see the industry become more active in the wellness and prevention space; tackling the health problems of its customers for the shared value of improving their customers’ life.
Cancer was the leading reason why customers claimed with us for all policy types in 2017. So what can we do to help our customers who are facing a dreaded cancer diagnosis?
One of the ways we’re doing this is through the Best Doctors service, which is only available with MLC Life Insurance. It connects around 800,000 MLC Life Insurance customers and their families – including their children, parents, partner and partner’s parents – with a network of 50,000 medical specialists from Australia and around the world for second medical opinion, diagnosis or treatment plan.
Customers can use the service at no additional cost, whether they make a claim or not.
Thousands of MLC Life Insurance customers have used Best Doctors to get a second opinion and the results have been inspiring. Sarah*, who accessed the service through her husband’s life insurance policy, used Best Doctors after being diagnosed with cancer in a lymph node in her neck.
After undergoing chemotherapy, Sarah was cancer-free, however she was told the cancer could reoccur within five to 10 years. To get more information about this she contacted Best Doctors. The service gave Sarah peace of mind, confirming her diagnosis and recommending an alternative medication for her to consider.
Of course, when people experience physical conditions or injuries, this can have an impact on their mental health and wellbeing. For this reason, we partnered with Best Doctors to launch Mental Health Navigator in 2018, a service which provides a helping hand to those experiencing a mental health condition.
In addition to this service, customers receive dedicated and experienced rehabilitation support at claim time, surrounded by good advice and support when they feel most vulnerable.
The right treatment and a great rehabilitation plan can have a life-changing impact on those facing a cancer diagnosis. It can help people make informed medical decisions with confidence, and more effectively fight the battle of their lives.
Cancer has a major impact on countless lives including for individuals, families and communities. We are committed to protecting our customers and their families – when they need it most, which means supporting them every step of the way when they face a cancer diagnosis.
Natalie Cameron is chief of customer operations for MLC Life Insurance
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