Dear Mr. Lord,
We write to you given the unprecedented times in which we live. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on how we are all living our lives. Its impact is biological, psychological, social and economic. The demands of healthcare providers are significant and will require them to interact and care for their patients and clients in different and innovative ways.
The pandemic has psychological impacts that are far reaching for those who do, and those who do not end up with the virus. These impacts demand that we make evidence-based psychological care available to those who need it in ways that can effectively and safely deliver care.
While Canada’s insurers sponsor plans that often cover psychological treatments and services, there is great variability in:
- Requirements for access (whether a physician’s referral is required)
- Session and annual coverage caps
- Whether plans cover telepsychology or only services delivered face-to-face
At a time when Canadians will need more not less healthcare, including psychological health care, we must make that care accessible. Your leadership is critical to removing barriers to psychological care across sponsored plans. Canadians need direct access to care. They need enough coverage to allow them an evidence-based dose of treatment. And given the pandemic and requirements for physical distancing, they will need to receive care digitally. Private health insurance plans must evolve in their coverage.
In our view, this evolution in policy is consistent with the evolution of healthcare in Canada, and the manner in which all health care providers are interacting with their patients and clients. It is innovative, progressive and compassionate. It will help more care get to people who need it, at a time they need it most.
Read the full letter to Mr. Lord at the National Medavie Blue Cross from the Canadian Psychological Association and the provincial associations in regards to Insurance and Healthcare during the COVID-19 Pandemic.