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Health Insurance To Now Cover Treatment of Mental Illness

Insurers shall make provisions for medical insurance of mental illness same as for  physical illness, says IRDA.

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Three months after the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 came into force, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) notified insurers to cover medical treatment for mental illnesses.

The notice issued on 16 August said that, “every insurer shall make provision for medical insurance for treatment of mental illness on the same basis as is available for treatment of physical illness.” The order is applicable on all insurance companies in India with immediate effect.

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Mental Healthcare Act 2017

The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, which came into effect on 29 May, was aimed at protecting the rights of persons with mental illnesses during delivery of mental healthcare and services.

Atleast 15 crore Indians were in need of active interventions for different levels of mental disorders, according to the National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-16.

Families had to spend approximately Rs 1,000 - Rs 1,500 a month for treatment and travel to access care. Other hidden and intangible expenses, mostly out-of-pocket, added to the financial burden, the survey found.

(This story was originally published on BloombergQuint.)

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