Being a physician is challenging even in the best of times. However, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, physicians have been under relentless pressures. Many physicians are suffering from overwork and emotional exhaustion while others are grappling with chronic worry about the financial fallout from months of lower patient volumes and lost revenue.
The duration and relentlessness of the coronavirus has greatly impacted every aspect of our lives, including our mental health. As resilient as physicians are, we are all still human. Therefore, it is completely understandable that your mental health and the mental health of your staff and family members may have been affected.
Even the advent of vaccines to control the virus can’t completely undo the cumulative toll of months of exhaustion, stress, and grief. Recovery from the pandemic’s effects will take time and resources. Many of these resources may be closer than you realize.
Help From Your Health Insurance
Taking care of our mental health is just as important as taking care of our physical health. That’s why major medical health insurance plans are now required to cover mental health benefits and also provide coverage for behavioral health services.
If you or someone you care about needs extra support during this challenging time, help is available. Major health plans cover a variety of services including:
- Behavioral treatment (such as psychotherapy and counseling)
- Substance abuse recovery services, including counseling and education resources
- Outpatient individual counseling or group therapy sessions
- Diagnostic services, such as psychological testing and evaluation services
- Ongoing outpatient treatment, including psychiatric treatment programs and medication management therapy
Help for Family Members
Having a physician in the family can have its own challenges, especially during the pandemic. Whether due to long work hours or infection control precautions, some physicians may be separated from their families, which can add to family distress due to physical separations or infrequent communication. If you are concerned that your family’s mental wellness may have been affected by the impact of the coronavirus, they can also receive mental health support and care through their health insurance policy.
We Are Here to Help
The specific benefits, copays and deductibles can be found in your policy’s description of plan benefits. Should you have questions or would like more information, check with your human resources department, or contact your insurance company directly.
If you bought your health insurance through TMA Insurance Trust, we can help you review the details of your policy. Feel free to contact your insurance advisor directly or contact us at 1-800-880-8181.
TMA is Your Advocate
The Texas Medical Association and TMA Insurance Trust deeply respect the work you do and acknowledge the pressures you are under. We want to make sure that you are aware of all the support that is available to you.
If you are a practice owner facing financial difficulties, the TMA Coronavirus Resource Center has a wealth of information and resources to help your business in the Practice Viability Toolkit. If you are concerned about the emotional toll the pandemic is taking and are looking for ways to restore work-life balance, the TMA Committee on Physician Health and Wellness has created a host of online resources and toolkits specifically prepared for TMA members.
We urge you to take full advantage of everything the Association has created to support you. The pandemic has changed our world in many ways, but two things will never change, your dedication to others and our dedication to you.
For over 60 years, TMA Insurance Trust advisors have been serving Texas physicians, their families and staff. TMA Insurance Trust prides itself on offering unbiased information and strategies to members, along with exclusive group rates on a range of the highest-rated plans in the industry.