The true purpose I haven’t got earnings safety insurance coverage

I’m OK. Thanks for asking.

In actual fact, I’m essentially the most OK I’ve been in a very long time, due to the invaluable insights and psychological instruments I’ve gained in remedy. I see the periods with my psychologist as being like a fitness center exercise for my mind – the psychological equal of a checkup on the dentist.

Alongside common train, good diet and sleep, remedy works wonders for me. It makes me a greater mom, higher worker and an all-round higher human, in my view.

So I encourage you to hunt out help too.

There are a lot of avenues, after all. The best is to contact your GP and speak about getting a Psychological Well being Therapy Plan, which entitles you to 10 subsidised mental-health periods a 12 months.

Should you stay in Melbourne, or one other space topic to COVID-19 public well being orders limiting your motion since July 1, you might be entitled to 20 periods.

I pay $200 for my 50-minute periods. Medicare rebates me $128.40, leaving me out of pocket by $71.60. I finances upfront for this expense beneath my “well being” spending class.

However there’s a sting within the tail.

Whereas there are substantial advantages from in search of help, there will also be substantial monetary ramifications beneath the present system.

I do know, as a result of it occurred to me. Let me clarify.

It’s a reality universally acknowledged man or lady in possession of a considerable mortgage should be in need of earnings safety insurance coverage, to make sure you can preserve a roof over your head ought to tragedy strike.

Being the newly financially accountable grownup that I’m, I inquired earlier this 12 months about my choices via a monetary planner.

He talked me via the significance of getting a totally underwritten coverage – one the place the insurer has a very good have a look at you first and assesses your private circumstances – reasonably than an “off the shelf” sort coverage, which you will discover doesn’t cowl your private state of affairs.

Thus far, so clever.

The planner additionally mentioned the advantages of “personal job” insurance coverage. That’s, a coverage that might pay out within the occasion I’m unable to carry out the capabilities of my job.

In any other case, ought to the insurer resolve I’m nonetheless able to performing another job, like stacking cabinets at Coles, they may deny my declare.

Nonetheless, right here’s the rub.

To acquire a totally underwritten coverage, you might be required to reveal all related particulars about your circumstances, together with your psychological and bodily well being.

In fact, I disclosed the psychological well being help I’ve obtained.

Of the 4 quotes my planner sourced from potential insurers, every determined to slap me with a two or three 12 months “psychological well being exclusion”, which is to say, they’d not pay out within the occasion my lack of ability to work arose from something to do with my psychological well being. This could possibly be reassessed after the exclusion interval, and lifted, however provided that I sought no extra help throughout that point.

No thanks!

I get that insurance coverage firms are within the difficult enterprise of balancing threat and return. And psychological well being claims are one of many fastest-growing sorts of claims.

However denying or limiting cowl for individuals who search mental-health help is a basic instance of what economists name a “perverse incentive”. It doesn’t work for both insurers or the insured.

Below the present system, many individuals actively keep away from in search of skilled mental-health care as a result of they’d lose out on their insurance coverage.

Nonetheless, failing to get the help you want solely undermines your skill to work, rising the probabilities you would possibly want to assert.


The twist for me is that as a journalist and author, maybe the one factor that might actually cease me from working could be if my mind had been not directly incapacitated. So, what’s the purpose of insurance coverage which doesn’t cowl that? Notably at an annual premium value of about $5000 a 12 months (albeit tax-deductible).

I’m nonetheless investigating my choices. However, at this stage, the plan is to successfully self-insure, by dwelling like a monk for a few years and build up a considerable liquid financial savings buffer.

It’s not very best however given a selection between my state of affairs and the choice of not receiving any help, I’d select my path each time.

In any case, your thoughts and physique are the largest potential income-generating property you will have. Please take care of them.

You may observe Jess’s cash and health adventures on Instagram @jess_irvine_pics

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