Can You Still Get Health Insurance Cover if You Have a History of Mental Illness?

If you have had a mental health problem, you may find it challenging to get suitable health insurance cover. 

Reports show that 1 in 4 in England will experience some sort of mental health problem each year, while in 2017 mental health was also revealed as the most common cause of claim in the UK for income protection policies.

While mental health conditions may be slightly harder to pin down when compared to physical health conditions, health insurers are becoming more and more aware of the need for cover for those with mental illnesses.

However, for those with existing mental health issues, you may experience a few challenges along the way to finding a cover that’s best suited to your needs. Below is a list with some of the limitations you may face when applying for health insurance with a history of mental illness.

You May Struggle to Find Insurance That Covers Your Existing Health Conditions

While the reason you’re wanting to take out health insurance may be related to your mental illness, you may find that certain insurers won’t cover you for pre-existing medical conditions – these pre-existing medical conditions also including the problems you experience with your mental health. 

Either this or they may also put restrictions in place regarding the times they’ll cover your mental health problems and the times they will not. 

You May be Assessed as “High-Risk” 

If you have a pre-existing mental illness, insurers may deem you to be a “high-risk” customer. This means that the insurance company believes that by insuring you they’ll be more likely to have to pay out for a claim.

When considered as a “high-risk” customer, the insurance company may refuse to cover you, or charge you a higher premium – either way adding to the hurdles of finding insurance cover when you have a history of mental illness. These issues can come up even if you have had issues with your mental illness in the past and are now recovered from them.

The Cost of Insurance Could Go up if Your Mental Illness Prevents You From Working

If your mental illness prevents you from working, you may not be able to get the chance to explain this in the insurance application process. Insurers may simply ask you if you are employed or unemployed, with the choice of “unemployed” sometimes increasing the cost of your premium. Rather than applying with an insurer directly, you may benefit from using a price comparison site or use an insurance broker to help you get a number of viable cover options, the best pricing and value for money.

Things to Consider When Applying for Health Insurance With a History of Mental Illness

Getting health insurance that best meets your needs when having a history of mental illness can be tricky. Once size will simply not fit all for those with such a history. Therefore, it’s important to have a checklist of things to consider when exploring your cover options, only giving time to those who meet your criteria. 

Below is a list of some of the top things to consider when applying for health insurance with a history of mental illness:

  • Will any personal medications you take for your mental illness be covered in the plan? 
  • Does the policy include therapy sessions, and if so what is the cost limit for sessions?
  • Will the policy offer guided online therapy and self-help services to help me manage my mental health? 
  • Do I get in-patient mental health treatment included in my policy? 

Before reaching out to insurers, it’s best to draw up a list like this to pinpoint exactly what you need from a health insurance plan, as this will help to filter your search when finding cover that’s the most appropriate for you and your healthcare needs.  


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