NEW DELHI: Four state-owned general insurance companies have provided mental illness cover to about one lakh persons in the past one year.
The Mental Healthcare Act 2017 came into force from May 29, 2018. The law provides that every insurer should make provision for medical insurance for treatment of mental illness on the same basis as is available for physical illness.
In August 2018, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) asked insurance companies to comply with the provisions of the Act.
"Public sector general insurance companies have informed that approximately 1 lakh persons across the country have been covered since 2018 under various products which include mental illness," as per the information provided by the finance ministry to the Lok Sabha.
As per the Irdai, 110 products covering mental illness have been approved after it issued a circular in this regard in August last year.
Earlier, the regulator had advised insurers to ensure that the persons affected with mental illness "are given similar treatment" as persons affected with physical illness.
Insurers have also been asked to communicate the policy with regard to mental illness to all their offices and sales staff.
The mental illness, as defined by the Act refers to a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs judgement, behaviour, capacity to recognise reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life.