- The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) mandated insurance providers to include coverage for mental illnesses.
- A large number of health insurance companies have decided to introduce mental health insurance policies in both in-patient and out-patient departments.
Mental health has been subjected to much frequent and open discussion, given its emerging prominence in the Indian public discourse. Over the years, its awareness has found voice in a number of celebrities in India and abroad. Even Bollywood has been addressing the issue in mainstream films such as Atrangi Re, Tamasha, Dear Zindagi, etc. In the recently released movie Atrangi Re, the central character, Rinku (essayed by Sara Ali Khan), was crafted to embody unresolved issues of childhood abuse and traumatic disorders. The film raises awareness about the life-long harmful consequences of mental illness.
Even before the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, India lacked substantial psychiatric capital and a taboo-free mentality to address the severity of physical and psychological comorbidities prevalent amongst its populace. The pandemic extracted a heavy toll. It is imperative that this exacerbated reality should find its address in legislation and insurance policies around rampant mental health issues like anxiety, depression, etc.
In 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) issued a circular to all insurance companies to comply with the provisions of the 2017 Mental Healthcare Act (MHCA) and include insurance coverage for mental health.
The accessible and cost-effective plans provided by the insurance companies are expected to cover a broad array of mental illnesses, including both in-patient and out-patient treatments.