Mental Health Cover in Health Insurance
Published On Feb 09, 2023 5:30 AM By Saumya Srivastava
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Since time immemorial, mental health in India has been considered a stigma. Due to this, talking about mental health has never been encouraged. But, now, thankfully, with the enactment of the Mental Healthcare Act in 2017, people have nlbecome open about talking about mental wellness and its treatment. In fact, in a recent move in October 2022, it has been mandated to provide coverage for mental health in health insurance plans. So, read on to understand all about mental health coverage in health insurance.
Definition of Mental Health
Mental health refers to a type of mental illness or psychological disorder that affects the overall wellness of an individual. When an individual is affected by mental illness, the way a person handles stress gets affected. It also affects the thinking capability of an individual as well as the decision-making capabilities. Sometimes, the mental health of an individual can get so affected that it even becomes difficult to carry out day-to-day activities. Some of the types of mental illness include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, sleep disorders, dementia, and others.
Is Mental Health Covered in Health Insurance Plans?
According to reports published by the World Health Organisation or WHO, 1 out of every 20 Indians now suffers from mental illness. The Mental Health Act or MHC was thus passed in 2017 with a motto to encourage the treatment of mental illness like any other disease. In accordance with the same, in a recent move in 2022, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has now made it a mandate to cover mental illness coverage in health insurance plans. Starting November 2022, all the health insurance companies in India are now directed to provide coverage for mental illness. Thus, with this, now all kinds of mental illness are given equal importance and treatment just like any other kind of illness.
Mental Health Coverage in Health Insurance Plans
With coverage for mental health in health insurance plans, individuals who are suffering from any kind of mental illness can get coverage for the same. The coverage will offer treatment of mental illnesses like bipolar disorders, acute depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia, schizophrenia, etc. The treatment cost will include pre and post-hospitalisation, diagnostic procedures, medicine costs, ambulance fees, therapies, room rent, rehabilitation costs, etc. Apart from these inclusions, there are certain exclusions in mental health insurance plans. It is important to note that alcohol and drug abuse, intellectual disabilities, and mental retardation will still not be covered as a part of mental health coverage in health insurance plans.
Is There A Waiting Period in Health Insurance Plans with Mental Health Coverage?
Just like pre-existing diseases, there is a specific waiting period for health insurance plans with mental health coverage. Typically, the waiting period for getting mental health coverage in health insurance plans is 2 years. This means that during this period, policyholders cannot raise any claim related to mental illness. However, the waiting period clause may vary from one health insurance company to another, so it is better to check with your insurer about the same. Thus, keeping in mind the waiting period condition in health insurance plans offering mental health coverage, it is better to buy such plans at an early age.
Why Buying A Mental Health Cover in Health Insurance is Important?
At present, time is such that a large number of people are now suffering from mental disorders. This is primarily due to the fact that the present lifestyle is quite stressful. Be it jobs, educational pursuits, or anything else, everything now has become so competitive that lifestyle has become extremely difficult and stressful. Owing to this, it becomes very important to invest in health insurance plans with mental health coverage, no matter whether you are suffering from any kind of mental illness or not.
Thus, with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority making it compulsory to provide coverage for mental health in health insurance plans, it has become easier for people with mental disorders to get quality treatment.