Mental Health To Be Covered Under Health Insurance Policies – By raising awareness, this initiative will now enable more people to claim monetary help while fighting against mental disorders

While many patients with mental disorders don’t require hospitalization, the question is appropriate to ask whether OPD facilities will be covered or not

Mental health has never enjoyed an even platform with physical illness even when mental disorders count as the leading cause of non-fatal disease burden in India. In a promising new order, mental health is now to be covered under all health insurance. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has made it mandatory for all health insurance companies to include coverage of mental sickness. The change will be in force from November 1.

As per reports, the WHO has said that 1 in every 3 Indians has depression. As per a Lancet report, in 2017, 197.3 million people in India had mental disorders, with 45.7 million suffering from depressive disorders and 44.9 million with anxiety disorders. By raising awareness, this initiative will now enable more people to claim monetary help while fighting against mental disorders.

What diseases might be covered?

Reportedly the extent of coverage will vary from person to person, depending on the insurer and the policy taken. However, treatments for diseases like bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia, depression, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), personality disorders, eating disorders, dissociative disorders and others will be covered under the plans. However, there is not much clarity on disorders related to intoxication, abuse, and withdrawal ailments caused by alcohol.

To be in force in both old and new policies

An obvious question that might tickle your mind at this stage is whether the inclusion of mental health under insurance coverage stands applicable for both old and new policies. Reportedly, the answer is yes. As per reports, an insurer cannot reject new policy applications for people with mental disorders. Also, the insurer cannot deny claim of those who developed the disorder after purchasing the policy.

Will OPD be covered too?

While many patients with mental disorders don’t require hospitalization, the question is appropriate to ask. Reportedly, most health insurance policies work where there are 24 hours or more of hospitalization. These conventional policies will cover any such mental illness that requires hospitalization. However, some new policies cover OPD facilities. So, if the person has taken such a policy, then, in that case, the consultation cost and the diagnostic cost shall be covered.

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