Do Health Insurance Plans Cover Mental Illnesses?


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. Of lately, there has been a lot of focus and awareness about mental health.

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 will be beneficial for millions of Indians who are affected with mental health problems such as clinical depression, stress, psychological and neurodegenerative disorders.

Here’s more information about health cover mental illnesses.

What 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, the signs of mental health disorders may be hidden. Therefore, it is essential to observe the behavioral patterns of a person who is 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 serious in nature and may require proper medical attention. This is where a problem arises. In India, the cost of medical treatment especially at private healthcare centers is 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.

Insurance plans for mental illnesses usually include various covers involving long-term expenses like hospitalization and rehabilitation as well as immediate expenses in the form of OPD costs, doctor’s consultation and medication.

Some plans offer sub-limit on the sum insured in case 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 which is the time period during which the policyholder cannot get a claim for the treatment expenses. However, after this waiting is over, the insurer is bound to offer cover for claims related to the treatment of mental illnesses.

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.

Show your loved ones that you care by opting for health insurance plans by Care Health Insurance (Formerly Religare Health Insurance) and avail the various benefits and hassle-free claim settlement.