To cover mental illness, buy health insurance policy offering OPD coverage

Industry regulator nudging companies to underwrite policies that include people with mental illnesses

Sanjay Kumar SinghKarthik Jerome New Delhi
mental health, depression, mind

The bulk of mental ailments require outpatient treatment, not hospitalisation. (Stock photo)

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has taken a significant step towards ensuring equitable health insurance coverage for persons with mental illness. In a circular issued on February 27, 2023, it mandated general and health insurers to provide coverage to individuals with mental illness, disabilities, and HIV/AIDS. The circular also urged insurers to adopt a board-approved underwriting policy that prevents discrimination against such individuals.
Challenges faced by the industry

One major challenge the industry faces in covering such risks is lack of adequate data. According to Ashish Yadav, head of products, ManipalCigna Health Insurance, “We need more data on the incidence rate, how the segment behaves, and so on. This will enable the industry to come up with the right products for these segments and price them appropriately.”

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First Published: Mar 10 2023 | 9:32 PM IST

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