For decades, mental illness has been a topic to be hushed up rather than be discussed. People suffering from mental disorders have been made to feel alienated and deal with the stigma owing to their condition. There has been a lot of focus and awareness about mental health now.
A positive step by the Indian government was the passing of the Mental Healthcare Act 2017 which aimed at protecting the rights of people with mental illness and providing them healthcare services. Moreover, insurers will be required to provide insurance cover for the treatment of mental illnesses on the same basis as is available for the treatment of physical ailments.
The guidelines given by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in 2018 make it mandatory for all insurance companies in India to provide health insurance coverage for the treatment of mental illnesses.
This move is beneficial for millions of Indians affected by mental health problems such as clinical depression, stress, psychological and neurodegenerative disorders.
Here’s more information about health cover mental illnesses.
What Do You Need to Know About Mental Illnesses?
Mental illnesses can throw one’s life out of balance, the same way as physical ailments do; and require dedicated and timely medical care.
While the signs of physical illnesses like injuries, heart problems, etc., are visible to others, there are hidden signs of mental health disorders. Therefore, it is essential to observe a person's behavioral patterns likely to have the illness.
The symptoms may vary from person to person and commonly include anxiety, stress, anger, fear or worries, mood changes, change in eating habits, etc. Some common mental disorders include depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.
How Does a Health Cover for Mental Illness Benefit?
Mental illness should not be neglected as it can become severe and may require proper medical attention. It is where a problem arises. In India, medical treatment costs, especially at private healthcare centers, are quite expensive. Hence, buying health insurance is highly recommended as it will ensure that your family’s savings are not affected due to high medical expenses.
Health insurance plans for mental illnesses usually include various covers involving long-term expenses like hospitalization, rehabilitation, OPD charges, doctor's consultation, and medication.
Some plans a sub-limit on the sum insured if an individual has a mental illness as a pre-existing condition at the time of opting for a health cover. There could also be a waiting period when the policyholder cannot claim the treatment expenses. However, after the waiting period is over, the insurer is bound to offer mental illness treatment claims.
If you are planning to buy a health cover, it is advisable to read the policy document thoroughly to understand the inclusions and exclusions. This is necessary to ensure that there are no hassles at the time of filing the claim.
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