The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has directed all health insurance providers to launch plans for people with mental illness, HIV/AIDS and physical disabilities. With this directive, the insurance regulator aims to offer comprehensive medical coverage to such people and meet the growing demands for these covers in the country.
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The IRDAI, in its latest circular, has mandated all general insurance companies and standalone health insurers with a Certificate of Registration to mandatorily launch health insurance plans that provide coverage to people suffering from mental illness, HIV/ AIDS and physical disabilities. The mandate comes almost a year after the regulatory body had asked all insurers to cover mental illness under health insurance.
The insurance regulator has asked insurers to provide details of the health insurance products they want to offer along with the coverage amount and premiums. However, it has asked the insurance companies to comply with the IRDAI (Health Insurance) Regulations, 2016 to determine the price of such plans.
Further, the apex body has allowed insurers to widen the scope of health plans to offer coverage to persons with disabilities (PwDs), mental illness and HIV/ AIDS. However, it has forbidden insurers to narrow down the scope of policy coverage.
The IRDAI has also directed insurers to create a board-approved underwriting policy that ensures the non-denial of applications of people suffering from HIV/ AIDS, mental illnesses and disabilities. Moreover, it has asked insurers to set up a dedicated claims team to process mental illness claims so that no such claims are denied due to sub-limits or exclusion.
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