POSTED: March 19 2018
Health insurer takes a fresh look at their approach to mental health

Health insurer takes a fresh look at their approach to mental health

Aviva is launching a new mental health service which will help employees of its large corporate clients get quick, specialised support when experiencing mental health conditions.


The new service enables employees with a mental health condition to receive rapid access to assessment within 48 hours, and integrated end-to-end clinical treatment with a dedicated case manager. Each employee will receive an individually tailored treatment plan with access to a wide range of specialists, including psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists.  The service is available for clients of Aviva’s large corporate health insurance product, Optimum1.


Employees can self-refer at any time by calling Aviva’s claims helpline, avoiding the need to see their GP and subsequent waiting times for referrals to specialists.


Following a clinical assessment, individuals are routed to the most effective clinical pathway to meet their needs. Treatment options include supported online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), evidence-based talking therapies delivered face-to-face, via telephone or via secure video-conferencing, and psychiatric assessment with onward referral for medication or private inpatient care. No out-patient limits or excess apply, ensuring customer care is determined by clinical decision making rather than financial constraints.


Aviva has piloted the new service with its corporate portfolio, as well as introducing extensive mental health support for its own employees. Results from these pilots clearly demonstrate how the new approach can help employers better support their employees, aiding recovery and return to work, and in many cases, reducing the cost of workplace absence.


Large corporate clients of Aviva’s health insurance product Optimum1 with existing mental health cover will be able to choose the new mental health service. The new service will also be available to Optimum clients without mental health cover, subject to a small increase in their premium.


The new service is offered in collaboration with psychological healthcare specialists CBT Clinics, and will be available to clients with a start date or renewal date of 1 May 2018 onwards.


Dr Doug Wright, Medical Director at Aviva said:“Mental health has overtaken musculoskeletal conditions as the most common reason for long term sickness absence2, and employers are beginning to understand the vital role they can play in supporting their employees with their mental health and wellbeing. At Aviva we’ve recently been recognised for the mental health support we offer our own staff3, and we want to use this experience to help other employers better support their workforces.

“Each one of us is unique, with individual needs. None more so than with mental health.  Our innovative mental health service enables us to tailor the support individuals receive – ensuring that their treatment is determined by clinical results, and not restricted by cover limits.

“We’re delighted that our new service for large corporate clients offers comprehensive support, from mild mental health conditions through to much more severe and long lasting illnesses.  Preventing absence and improving recovery and return to work rates is great news for individuals and their employers alike.”


Notes & references

1Optimum is the name of Aviva private health insurance product for companies with 250+ employees. More information is available here.

2CIPD 2016 – The full report can be seen here with the reference shown on page 17.

3 The Government’s Thriving at Work Report – Aviva case study is on page 31 with the full report seen here.


You can view the Aviva press release here.