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About Insurance for Mental Illness

For the longest time, mental illnesses were never considered to be a serious issue in India and people often shrugged off 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, celebrities and social media influencers have highlighted the importance of mental health. It has also become important for insurance companies to focus on mental illnesses in the purview of health insurance. Let’s take a look at how the insurance sector has evolved in relation to mental health coverage.  

Mental Illness Under Health Insurance

Mental illness is defined as a significant disorder of mood, thinking, perception, memory, or orientation. It impairs a person’s judgement, behaviour and ability to conduct the regular activities of daily life.

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 include mental illness. Insurance companies can no longer differentiate between individuals suffering from a physical illness and a mental illness. The step was a welcome relief for people suffering from mental illness.

How Does Mental Health Insurance Work?

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 of health insurance benefits by availing of health insurance coverage. Here are the main features of mental health insurance you should be aware of:

  1. Mental illness cover in a health insurance plan only covers the costs that have been incurred due to hospitalisation as a result of any mental illness.

  2. Hospitalisation due to mental illness must be more than 24 hours to be eligible for mental illness cover.

  3. While buying health insurance, make sure that the plan you are purchasing specifically has a provision for mental illness cover. There are many health insurance plans that still do not have mental illness cover, so you need to make sure the plan you buy has it.

  4. It should be noted that the inclusion of a mental illness in a health insurance plan does not mean that the insurer will be liable to insure individuals who have pre-existing mental conditions. The insurance company will provide mental health coverage only post the completion of their plan’s waiting period.

  5. In case the insured is diagnosed with a mental illness after the purchase of a policy, the insurance company will be liable to provide coverage.

  6. Mental illness cover does not include doctor consultations or outpatient care. Moreover, mental illness caused due to alcohol or drug consumption is also not covered.

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 claim. Make sure that the plan you are buying includes coverage for mental health.

Final Takeaway

Whether you are suffering from mental illness or not, having health insurance in place is very important. Given the rise in work-life imbalance for people in today’s hectic world, a good health insurance plan has become a necessity. If you are looking for health insurance plans, you can find suitable options as per your needs at Finserv MARKETS.

With health insurance plans available at Finserv MARKETS, you can benefit from features like a swift claim settlement process, multiple health insurance plans, extensive coverage, and more. You can also claim tax deductions under Section 80D for the premiums paid towards the policy.  

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Frequently Asked Questions on Insurance for Mental Illnesss

  • ✔️Can you buy health insurance for mental health coverage?

    Yes, as per IRDAI guidelines, insurance companies have to give mental illness the same consideration as physical illness in terms of coverage.  

  • ✔️Which health insurance covers mental illness?

    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.

  • ✔️How do I know if my health insurance covers mental illness?

    When you buy an insurance policy, you will get policy documents that contain details of all illnesses covered. You can review the documents to know whether your insurance covers mental illness. If you have purchased your policy online, you can visit your insurance provider’s website and check out the details of your insurance plan.

  • ✔️Is depression considered a pre-existing condition?

    Yes, if you have been diagnosed with depression prior to buying the health insurance policy, it will be considered a pre-existing condition.

  • ✔️When should you consult a therapist?

    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.

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