Insurance for Mental Healthcare: IRDAI asks insurers to provide cover for mental illness
After over a year from passing of the Mental Healthcare Bill 2016 and more than two months since it came in force, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked all insurance companies to make provision to cover mental illness as well. Will this directive from the insurance regulator enhance the access, affordability and coverage of mental health services and insurance?
In a notification, the insurance regulator says, "As per Sec 21(4) of the said Act, every insurer shall make provision for medical insurance for treatment of mental illness on the same basis as is available for treatment of physical illness. All insurance companies are hereby directed to comply with the aforesaid provisions of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 with immediate effect."
At present, the health insurance schemes available in India either do not cover or exclude coverage for any mental illness, psychosomatic dysfunction, or problems connected to psychiatric conditions. World over there have been notable progress in providing insurance coverage for mental health, especially post World War II. Yet, non-coverage for mental health or illness have...