According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, 6% to 7% of the population of this country suffer from mental disorders. The prevalence of severe mental health illnesses in individuals above the age of 18 years is approximately 10.6%. These shocking numbers should be all the more reason for one to focus on their mental health and wellbeing.
For the longest time, mental illnesses were never considered to be a serious issue in India and people often considered their mental health problems as insignificant. However, over the past few years, the importance of mental health awareness has been recognised by a large number of people across the world.
Various health organisations and public figures have highlighted the importance of mental health. It has also become important for insurance companies to focus on mental illnesses in the context of health insurance to attract more customers. Let’s take a look at how health insurance for mental illness works in India.
Here are a few important factors about health insurance for mental illness you need to keep in mind when looking for the right plan to buy:
Health insurance for mental illness provides coverage for medical expenses during hospitalisation due to any mental health conditions. The coverage includes the cost of treatment, medicine, rent for the room, etc.
However, the insured or the policyholder must be admitted to the hospital for more than 24 hours, for the health insurance coverage to take effect.
Following the IRDAI’s guidelines on mental health, most health insurance policies now have to offer a cover for the treatment of mental illness, neurodegenerative disorders, and stress. However, whether the policyholder will be covered specifically for hospitalisation or for outpatient services as well will be based on the type of policy chosen.
Individuals with mental illness can make the most out of health insurance benefits by availing health insurance coverage. When you look for a health insurance policy, you need to choose a plan carefully and consider your mental health coverage requirements. Read the documents thoroughly and go through the terms and conditions of the policy before you file a health insurance claim. Make sure that the plan you are buying includes coverage for mental health
Here are the plans on Bajaj Markets that offer mental illness coverage.
Mental illness is defined as a significant disorder of mood, thinking, perception, memory, and/or orientation. It impairs a person’s judgement, behaviour and ability to conduct the regular activities of daily life, which can be terribly hampering. Finally, the world has started giving great importance to mental health after realising the sheer impact it can have on an individual.
As per the guidelines issued by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), the treatment of stress, mental illness, and psychological disorders are no longer considered exclusions under health insurance coverage. This means that every health insurance policy will be inclusive of mental health.
People who have a family history of mental illness should specifically look for health insurance plans that cover mental conditions. Moreover, anyone who is vulnerable to or suffering from any mental illnesses must also seek out health insurance with cover for mental conditions.
In case a policyholder has a mental illness as a pre-existing condition, a waiting period on the coverage for mental health treatment may apply. Usually, the waiting period for mental health conditions is 2 years, but it may differ based on the insurance provider chosen.
While buying health insurance, make sure that the plan you are purchasing specifically has coverage for mental illness cover. Many health insurance plans still do not have mental illness cover, so you need to be careful while buying the plan.
The following are some examples of the diseases which are covered under health insurance for mental illness:
24 hours of hospitalisation can be covered under the mental illness benefit offered by Health Insurance plans across many platforms. You can claim these benefits at network hospitals for cashless treatments or claim for reimbursement at external facilities.
Health insurance for mental illness will not provide coverage for the following conditions:
Coverage for mental conditions will not be provided if the policyholder or the insured has not been admitted to the hospital for more than 24 hours.
Coverage for mental conditions will not be provided if they have been caused as a result of alcohol, drugs or substance abuse.
Coverage for consultations will not be provided in case of mental conditions.
If a person has a severe history of mental illness, the insurer may choose to not sell the insurance plan to that person.
Yes, you can buy health insurance for mental health. As per IRDAI guidelines, insurance companies have to give mental illness the same consideration as physical illness in terms of coverage.
You should take a look at all the health insurance plans from different companies available online. Post looking at the coverage, inclusions and exclusions, decide on a plan which provides you with mental illness coverage along with the best benefits.
The details of coverage for mental illness under your health insurance plan will be specifically mentioned in the policy document.
Yes, if you have been diagnosed with depression before buying the health insurance policy, it will be considered a pre-existing condition.
If you have been suffering from symptoms of any mental illness or have feelings of depression, you should consult a mental health professional right away. Even if you have feelings of anxiety and hopelessness in your daily life, it is a good idea to talk to a therapist.
Anyone can opt for Mental Health Insurance. Whether you do suffer from mental health issues or not, it is always a good measure to have insurance that can provide you with coverage against mental illnesses.
This depends heavily on the insurer you subscribe to. Not all insurance plans offer both OPD and counselling coverage to their insured members.
Yes, mental health insurance policies have a waiting period like most health insurance policies do. You can speak to your insurer to gain clarity on the waiting period that can be imposed on your policy.
In order to claim the coverage under Health Insurance for mental illnesses, you are required to be hospitalised for a minimum of 24 hours.