Insurance coverage

Including mental health in health insurance coverage is a progressive step, Health News, ET HealthWorld

By Bineeta Naag and Debjita Mazumder

The Mental Health The 2017 law clearly states to include mental illnesses in the health category Insurance cover. Now, after a long wait, the day has come when the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has decided to comply with the provisions of the MHC Act 2017, thereby providing cover for all mental illnesses under insurance policies. ‘Health Insurance.

As a member of the mental health fraternity, we are extremely pleased with this decision by the insurance regulators. This year has just ended World Mental Health Awareness Day theme was “Making mental health and well-being a global priority”. On this occasion, the aforementioned decision is a milestone in the history of mental health. Many people, knowingly or unknowingly, suffer from major depression. Some people are unable to act or undertake therapy or medication because they cannot afford it, and for them this decision is a lifesaver.

If we consider the current scenario, we are in the midst of an ongoing mental health epidemic. After the pandemic, mental health problems are increasing around the world. Nearly three in five people report struggling with mental health issues. Thus, the inclusion of mental illnesses in health insurance coverage is a progressive step towards taking into account mental illnesses on the same basis as physical ailments and thus ensures better access to mental health care.

If we examine the current research literature on mental health, we will see that the likelihood of mental disorders is significantly higher among people belonging to middle and lower socioeconomic status (SES). This category of the society has a maximum level of unemployment due to which they have low incomes, which leads to low savings and less expenses for their health problems. Therefore, financial constraint is a major concern for these people when seeking help for a mental health problem, because mental health problems usually require a long treatment time, and treatment is beyond the reach of people. belonging to a middle and lower SES.

According to recent data from the National Mental Health Survey (NMHS 2015-16), people with common mental illnesses like depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse do not seek needed help due to financial problems, thus creating a huge treatment gap for these people. mental disorders. Thus, in this context, the inclusion of mental illnesses in health insurance policies will undoubtedly provide better mental health care to those in need.

Bineeta Naag – Special Educator and Debjita Mazumder – Behavioral Counselor at Orchids The International School, Newtown, Kolkata

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