St Patrick's Mental Health Services is an independent not-for-profit organisation and receives no government funding. The organisation receives fees for its services from service users and/or their health insurance company.
The health insurance market has become increasingly difficult to navigate in recent years. This is due in part to the extensive range of policies and terms and conditions associated with an increasing number of plans.
St Patrick's Mental Health Services is covered by all health insurance companies in Ireland (VHI, Aviva, Laya or Glohealth). The organisation advocates where appropriate on behalf of service users regarding mental health care benefits provided by the insurance companies and other related matters for the sector.
The links below set out a number of useful sources of information as reference sites:
In particular, the Health Insurance Authority website is very informative in this area.
Mental healthcare is specifically provided for in the legislation that underpins voluntary health insurance known as the Minimum Benefit legislation. This legislation states that every policy must provide a minimum benefit and in the case of general mental healthcare or general psychiatric cover this amounts to 100 days in any given calendar year. However, some insurers provide extra cover over and above the minimum required. This is further restricted for alcohol and substance abuse treatment to 91 days in any (rolling) five year period.
If you are considering purchasing a plan, changing your plan and/or switching insurance companies it may be useful to know that a health insurer cannot refuse to sell you health insurance even if you have an existing medical condition, however a waiting period may apply. Please ask for details or visit the HIA website for further information.
If you are shopping around for health insurance, we have compiled a useful list of questions that you may wish to ask a health insurer about mental healthcare cover: