THE Supreme Court has sought replies from the Central Government and Insurance Regulatory Development Authority Of India (IRDAI) on the provision of medical insurance for treatment of mental illnesses.
Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal has filed a PIL seeking directions to insurance companies to provide medical insurance coverage for treatment of mental illness. He stated that insurance companies are refusing to provide such coverage despite a mandate under the Mental Healthcare Act of 2017.
Section 21 (4) of the said Act states 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”. Based on that provision, the IRDA had issued a circular in August 2018 to the insurance companies to comply with the same..
He argued, based on an RTI reply, that till date none of the Insurers have implemented the circular issued by IRDA. “The inaction by IRDA is hampering the rehabilitation process of thousands of persons with mental Illness,” the petition said.
After hearing the petitioner, a three-judge bench headed by Justice R F Nariman called for a reply from both the Central Government and IRDA.