Health Insurance

Mental Illness Is Now Covered In Health Insurance

Mental health, in simple words, can be understood as a state of well-being in which you can realize your abilities, can handle the stress and pressures in life and lead it in a healthy manner while…

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Mental health, in simple words, can be understood as a state of well-being in which you can realize your abilities, can handle the stress and pressures in life and lead it in a healthy manner while being productive at the same time. Mental health can affect your daily lives, your health, and your relationships as well. The World Health Organization has emphasized that the preservation and restoration of mental health is quite necessary. Nowadays, conditions like stress, anxiety, depression are the common factors that are disrupting mental health. 

Mental Health Insurance Policy For You & Your Family

In earlier times, people were reluctant to discuss mental health. Thus, the mental health disorders never got adequate emphasis. The same was the case of health insurance cover. In the present COVID-19 times, mental health issues have increased, and with the death of a celebrity, the problem has again gained immense importance.

The Mental Healthcare Act 2017 was enforced which states that every insurance provider must make provisions for the implementation of medical insurance for the treatment of mental illness precisely in the same manner as it is done for physical illness. Since May 2018, IRDAI has been working on this. However, most insurance companies stayed ambiguous about this inclusion, and there is no specific policy if someone wants to search in-depth for the same.

On June 16, 2020, the honourable Supreme Court of India has issued a notice to IRDAI and the Government to provide a health insurance cover for mental illness. 

Mental Health Support for You

Since times immemorial, people have stayed quiet about mental issues. With changing times, things have begun to develop, and with psychiatric treatment, the problems are being addressed quite pro-actively these days. If you are experiencing any signs of mental illness such as anxiety, extreme mood changes, excessive fears or worries, lack of concentration, extreme tiredness, etc. then you should not ignore these signs. Instead, you must opt for taking mental health support immediately. Talking to family and professionals help, and with medical insurance covering it, people become more confident concerning the financial angle.

Mental Health Support for your Family

If someone in the family is facing mental health issues, encourage them to express and talk about it. It is not possible to force anyone to obtain professional help, but support is a must. An excellent mental health care professional and coverage in the health insurance policy makes it easier for someone to seek help.

What does all Mental Health Insurance include?

According to the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 mental illness can be said as a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, or perception which impairs judgment, behaviour but does not include mental retardation which is an incomplete development of a person's mind.

  • Medical insurance would cover treatment for psychiatric treatment, mental illness, stress, psychological, or other neurodegenerative disorders. However, the coverage for hospitalization or coverage for OPD would depend on the type of health insurance policy purchased.

  • The health insurance providers cannot discriminate between the services provided for physical and mental illnesses. So, if there is a provision of hospitalization or OPD for a physical ailment, then it would be feasible for mental health treatment as well.

  • If there is hospitalization due to mental illness, then the insurance policy would cover the diagnosis and analysis of your mental health, treatment procedure, and rehabilitation for your mental health as well. This procedure would include a 24-hour mandatory hospitalization. 

  • Moreover, since mental health illness is included in the health insurance policy, it does not mean that the insurance provider is abided to cover your expenses if you had pre-existing mental health conditions.

  • An insurance provider cannot reject a claim if it has decided to cover the costs for your mental health illness after the waiting period.

  • Similarly, an insurance provider cannot reject a claim related to mental illness if you are found out with mental illness after the purchase of your health insurance policy.

How to Prevent Mental Health Issues?

There are no specific ways by which mental illness or mental health issues can be avoided but, taking appropriate measures to prevent their onset before they occur would be helpful. 

  • Attention towards warning signs and mood swings

  • Routine medical care

  • Seek medical help at the earliest and not shy away from mental health treatment

  • Self-care with a healthy lifestyle, proper diet and regular physical activity 

Bottomline on Mental Health Cover in Health Insurance

As physical fitness helps keep your body healthy, mental fitness would be helpful in the sustainment of good mental health. Mental health is essential because it has an impact on your behaviour and emotions. When you are healthy mentally, you can enjoy your life, your environment, and even your work.

Hence, with the inclusion of cover for mental health, your premium rates for the policy might be revised. Moreover, it is advisable that you must read the fine print of your policy document carefully and understand the inclusions/exclusions properly before you file any claims related to mental health illness.