In spite of a long-awaited directive by the insurance regulatory authority on mental health cover that brought new hope to millions of Indians suffering from psychological problems, the situation on the ground remains grim as most insurers still don’t have a policy for mental disorders and remain reluctant to venture into uncharted waters.
In a circular issued on August 16, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai), asked all insurers to make provisions for mental health cover.
The reluctance of insurers to implement the provisions of the new Act worries healthcare activists who are working day in and day out to take the stigma out of mental ailments and reduce the financial burden on families. The new Act has stressed on a patient’s right to access treatment of affordable cost. The insurers who want to add mental health cover to their portfolio should submit a fresh application and may have to revise rates too.