Medibank releases mental health benefit data

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Medibank says it paid benefits towards more than 65,000 hospital admissions for its customers requiring psychiatric care in financial year 2018.

The company has released data showing the average benefit paid for an overnight hospital admission for psychiatric care was more than $13,000 per patient.

Around 45 per cent of Australians will have a common mental disorder in their lifetime, according to the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing of adults (aged 16–85), with one-in-five adults estimated to experience a mental disorder each year.

Medibank chief medical officer Dr Linda Swan said the company has been improving its support for customers on mental health and wellbeing.

“Hospital admission for psychiatric reasons is in the top five claims for Medibank customers nationally. It is also the most common hospital claim for our customers aged in their 20s,” said Dr Swan.

“Medibank paid benefits towards 65,413 day or overnight hospital admissions in the 2018 financial year for psychiatric care.”

The new data also showed the most common reasons for overnight hospital admission were rehabilitation, childbirth, orthopaedic surgery, respiratory conditions and psychiatry. Colonoscopy, chemotherapy, rehabilitation, dialysis and psychiatry were the most common admissions for same-day procedures.