For several decades, our mental well-being has been forced to take a backseat over physical health issues. Even though conversations around mental health have started to become normalised in the last few years, the subject still remains a taboo for many people in India. But overlooking it can have serious consequences in the long run. Especially post the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a massive surge in mental health issues across the globe. Recently, the ‘Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’ (IRDAI) has now brought mental health under the ambit of medical insurance. As a leading business insurance broker in the country, Raghnall celebrates this move acknowledging the seriousness of mental health disorders.
Things To Know About IRDAI’s Ruling:
The inclusion of mental health in health insurance policies as mandated by IRDAI has been brought into effect from 1st November, 2022. A circular was issued by the body asking all health insurance companies to strictly comply with the 2017 Mental Health Care Act’s mandates, and to include coverage for mental illnesses in their insurance policies. The compliance certification deadline granted to insurers was 31st October 2022.
According to the latest update, Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease will now also be included in health insurance policies.
Furthermore, insurers are no longer allowed to decline new policy applications from people already suffering from a mental disorder. The insured entities can now access mental healthcare through their health insurance cover.
Mental Health Statistics You Should Be Aware Of
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that 1 in every 3 individuals in India has depression. As per a study conducted by Deloitte India called ‘Mental health and well-being in the workplace’ last year, work-related stress contributes to a majority of mental disorders in the nation. Based on the findings, symptoms of mental health issues like depression, burnout, and irritability were found to be the most common among Indian working professionals. Around 80% respondents admitted to suffering from at least one adverse symptom of mental illness, with the workplace being the biggest trigger.
Why Should Organisations Not Overlook Their Employees’ Mental Health?
A workforce with poor mental health costs business owners in India approximately 14 billion US dollars every year!
While 33% employees carried on working regardless of their mental health concerns, 29% took leaves of absence to manage it, and 20% left the company.
The above numbers indicate the increasing necessity for businesses to look after the mental health of their employees. Hence, offering comprehensive employee benefit packages comprising a group health insurance policy is the way to go for employers, especially now that it also provides coverage for mental health.
What Is Covered and What Isn’t
Mental illnesses such as acute depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and dementia will be included under mental health insurance. 
However, mental retardation or intellectual disabilities (like Asperger’s Syndrome and autism), self-inflicted injuries (like intentional or attempted suicide), and drug or alcohol abuse complications will not be covered.
The key takeaway from this article is that the inclusion of mental health in health insurance policies is a much-needed positive step in the right direction. Particularly via corporate group health insurance, this ruling by IRDAI will pave the way for creating healthier workplaces across the country. Get in touch with Raghnall’s experts to know more about employee benefits packages and different business insurance policies you might require!

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