Media release

16 May 2019

MLC Life Insurance celebrates anniversary of Mental Health Navigator service

On the anniversary of the launch of Mental Health Navigator, more than 100 MLC Life Insurance customers have now used the service to help improve a mental health condition.

In May 2018, MLC Life Insurance expanded its exclusive partnership with Best Doctors to launch Mental Health Navigator, a service which provides customers and their immediate family with a detailed mental health review by leading experts, giving them confidence that they have the right diagnosis and treatment plan.

According to research commissioned by MLC Life Insurance in 2018, 63% of Australians with a mental health condition believe the current mental healthcare system is too confusing and complex, leading many to consider giving up on treatment. Further, seven in ten Australians who have sought help for a condition said it was a negative experience and over a third (36%) believed finding the right treatment was hard.

Sean McCormack, Chief of Group and Retail Partners at MLC Life Insurance, said Mental Health Navigator addressed a genuine gap in Australia’s mental health system.

“Each year approximately one in every five Australians will experience a mental health condition1, however worryingly more than half do not access any treatment2. This is not a good outcome. Our research shows that many people feel the current system is too complex to navigate, and we believe this service can help address this issue.”

Mental Health Navigator is a confidential, specialist mental health service that is available to eligible customers and their families at no cost, and they don’t need to make an insurance claim to use it. On average it takes 10 days for a customer to receive their first assessment by a mental health specialist when using Mental Health Navigator.

Nadia is one of the 100 MLC Life Insurance customers that have accessed Mental Health Navigator.

After experiencing low moods, poor sleep for two years and needing to regularly take time off work, Nadia got in touch with Best Doctors to seek help. The service helped Nadia with a tele-health assessment by a clinical psychologist and a detailed report on her diagnosis of major depressive disorder and an appropriate treatment plan. With support from the Best Doctors nurse, Nadia went back to her GP and put the treatment plan into place. Since then, Nadia’s symptoms have reduced dramatically,and she is now back at work full time. 1Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2009). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 4326.0, 2007. ABS: Canberra.

The partnership between Best Doctors and MLC Life Insurance is currently in its 10th year. In that time, more than 4,500 customers have contacted Best Doctors to receive a second, expert opinion on a diagnosis or treatment plan for a physical or mental health condition.

Sean continued:

“We want to do more to help customers better manage and treat their condition. While we’re here to protect our customers financially, we also want to support their health and wellbeing and offer them a tangible solution to help them improve their mental health,” said Mr McCormack.

According to the FSC, mental health conditions rank third in the top 10 causes of claims across all life insurance categories.For MLC Life Insurance, 10.4% of total benefits paid in 2018 were for mental health conditions, totalling around $87 million across group and retail claims.

MLC Life Insurance is the only life insurer to offer the service from Best Doctors in Australia, and the second life insurer globally. MLC Life Insurance was awarded the Innovation in Group Life Insurance Award at the 2019 Financial Services Council Life Insurance Awards and the CANSTAR 2019 Innovation Excellence Award for its Mental Health Navigator service.

The life insurer has partnered with Best Doctors since 2009 and offers the service to over 700,000 eligible life insurance customers, their immediate families and its permanent employees.Further information on Mental Health Navigator can be found at https://www.mlcinsurance.com.au/mentalhealthnavigator