Medical Matters > Income protection policies

ME Essential Autumn 2017

Question

I have only been ill and off work with ME for a short time so have just started to make a claim on an income protection policy. This comes with an ‘active rehabilitation’ clause. Please could you explain what this will involve?

Answer

Having dealt with a lot of people with ME/CFS who have these sort of policies (also known as personal health insurance policies), I suspect that this means you are going to be asked whether you have had a course of CBT and/or GET – which (as you are be probably aware) are the two treatments that are recommended by NICE for people with mild or moderate ME/CFS.

If the answer is no, then the insurer will probably start asking questions about why you have not tried either of these behavioural treatments. If this is because your doctor (GP or specialist) does not believe they will help with your ME/CFS you are probably on safe ground. However, if you have refused to try CBT and/ or GET because you have concerns about either safety or effectiveness, you may well find that the insurer is going to use ‘non compliance’ with a recommended form of management as a reason for querying or even halting the payments on the policy. So I think you need to ask your insurer what they mean by this term.

We have an MEA information leaflet covering this type of insurance policy at: https://meassociation.org.uk/product/permanent-health-insurance-policies/

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Medical Matters is for information purposes only. The answers provided by Dr Shepherd and the ME Association’s other expert advisers should not be construed as medical advice. We recommend that any information you deem relevant is discussed with your GP as soon as possible. It is important to obtain advice from a GP who is in charge of your clinical care, who knows you well, and who can consider other likely causes for symptoms. Seek personalised medical advice whenever a new symptom arises, or an existing symptom worsens. Don't assume that new or worsened symptoms are a result of having ME/CFS.

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