Health Insurance companies to cover mental illness under medical insurance policies: IRDAI

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) on August 16, 2018 directed all the insurance companies to make a provision to cover mental illness also in insurance policies. The authority referred to Section 21(4) of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2O17 which states that 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. The Act came into force on May 29, 2018. Thus, all insurance companies were directed to comply with the aforesaid provisions of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 with immediate effect.

Every person shall have the right to access mental health care and treatment from services run or funded by the government. Persons with mental illness also have the right to equality of treatment, protection from inhuman and degrading treatment, free legal services, access to their medical records, and complain regarding deficiencies in the provision of mental health care.

The right to access mental health care includes affordable, good quality and easy access to services. 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. The Act further states that every person with a mental illness will be treated as equal to persons with physical illness when it comes to health care, including health insurance.

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