Chennai: In a step that can remove the stigma attached to psychological ailments, Irdai has asked insurance companies to make provisions for medical insurance covering treatment of mental illness.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) has given the directive in reference to the Mental Health Act, 2017 which came into force on May 29, 2018.
“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,” Irdai said in a notification.
The Mental Health Care Act was passed by the Parliament of India in 2017. The law intended to ensure a life of dignity to those who have mental health issues.
“Insurance of mental health is a progressive step in right direction. This will ensure a life of dignity for those who have mental health issues,” said Jyoti Punja, COO and customer officer, Cigna TTK Health Insurance.
“We believe it will certainly create awareness, acceptance and inclusion when it comes to mental illness as any other ailment, while bringing mental health disorders at par with physical illnesses will ‘normalise’ diagnoses, reducing associated myths and stigma. At Cigna TTK, we focus on the health and wellness of our customers we serve and we welcome this step to drive a robust health and well-being ecosystem,” said Punja.
However, currently most insurance firms do not provide cover for mental illnesses and in many cases their insurance applications get rejected if customers happen to have a history of mental illness.