With the coronavirus pandemic exacting a heavy toll, there has been a significant rise in mental health issues throughout the world. While a number of people rushed to buy health insurance policies to cope with the challenges and meet the rise in sudden expenses, it is becoming increasingly important to check whether the insurance policies they bought cover mental health issues like anxiety and depression. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has mandated insurance providers to include mental illnesses under the scope of health cover via a circular in June last year.
According to IRDAI, all insurance providers must offer coverage to persons diagnosed with mental illnesses. It gave all insurance companies in the country —be it life, health or general insurers — to comply with its instructions by October 1 last year.
The benefits under health insurance with mental illness cover are similar to a normal health plan that covers hospitalisation expenses, and other treatment.
Private insurer ICICI Lombard, for example, covers mental health issues in some of its policies. The company’s flagship product — Complete Health Insurance Product — provides hospitalisation coverage for all declared and accepted mental health problems. It has also launched ‘Santulan’, a helpline for employee mental and emotional health.
Star Health and Allied Insurance offers policies that cover in-patient hospitalisation for all mental illnesses that require hospitalisation.
HDFC Ergo covers mental illness in its ‘My Health Suraksha’ insurance cover.
Max Bupa and Manipal Cigna also cover conditions related to mental illnesses.
According to recent research and studies, most people in the country have shown signs of frustration or anxiety at some level. The primary reason for their mental status was not able to do what they normally enjoyed doing due to the pandemic. A number of people are showing signs of panic and anxiety apart from sleep disorders. Considering all these aspects, it is important to go for an insurance plan that covers mental illnesses.