The Significance of Mental Health and its Inclusion in Health Insurance 

In recent years, there has been plenty of awareness with regard to the critical role of mental health. People, too, are acknowledging it as a severe health condition and not dismissing it as a mere emotional state or personal weakness. 

On similar lines insurance companies are moving towards this positive change and are considering mental health as an important aspect which requires insurance. This change was just as significant as when maternity insurance was added to health coverage. 

It showed that the healthcare industry is expanding and considering the importance of mental well-being. In this article, we shall look at the significance of mental health and types of coverage that are generally included and how they can help the policyholders.

 What is Health Insurance for Mental Health? 

In accordance with the guidelines of the IRDA, all health insurance policies must follow the Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 while offering coverage for mental health.

During the pandemic, IRDA directed and stepped in, asking insurance companies to initiate offering coverage for mental illness treatment as part of COVID-19 insurance. Since COVID-19 not only significantly affected people’s physical health but also led to mental health problems. 

This change was asked to be implemented by October 2020 but unfortunately, there was a delay in implementation, and the date ultimately shifted to 31 October 2022.

In general, mental health insurance comprehensively covers various conditions that affect the day-to-day activities and decisions of a person. It can be related to mood, thinking condition, perspective, memory, etc., which can be addressed with the help of an expert consultant.

Getting mental health insurance offers financial protection in case of emergency, i.e., access to care and a range of treatment options for mental health conditions as per the policy terms and conditions. It ensures that you get the help you need while easing the financial burden related to mental health treatment.

 What Does Medical Policy for Mental Well-being Cover? 

Mental health insurance covers most of the significant mental conditions. Following is the list of coverages that mental health insurance provides, although this may vary in accordance with the health insurance policies and the provider you opt for.

 Mental Disorders Covered 

Generally, a mental health insurance plan may cover the following conditions:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Mood disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Psychological disorder

 Hospitalisation Coverage Under Mental Health Insurance 

  • OPD Charges

A health insurance plan mainly covers the cost of OPD consultancy, i.e., which does not require immediate hospitalisation and the treatment for which is completed in less than 24 hours without a need for actual hospitalisation. The insurance provider bears such expenses.

  • Hospitalisation Cost

There are a few mental health disorders that may need the patients to get hospitalised for adequate treatment and quick recovery. Your insurer covers such costs of medical treatment and also helps to seek the best possible medical help without having to worry about financial aid.

 Exclusion Under Mental Health Insurance 

Here are some aspects that are mostly excluded from a health plan:

  • Mental sickness due to drug abuse
  • Mental retardation
  • Waiting period ( up to 2 years)
  • Some mental health plans exclusively cover the expenses when the patient is hospitalised.
  • Some plans may not include recurring mental illness.

 Advantages of Having Mental Health Insurance 

A mental health insurance plan offers several advantages, including:

  • Comprehensive coverage for mental conditions: The mental health insurance plan provides for a wide range of mental illnesses. The general list of illnesses covered has been listed above.
  • Cashless treatments: Taking treatment at a network hospital of the insurance provider can help you get cashless treatment.
  • OPD benefits: It covers expenses related to consultation, counselling and rehabilitation.
  • Safeguarding your savings: Mental health treatments are expensive. Insurance ensures you are financially covered, thereby safeguarding your savings.
  • Tax benefits: Individuals can claim tax deductions under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
  • Accessible: Since regulatory changes directed insurance plans to mandatorily cover mental illness, it has become more accessible.


Being mentally healthy is as essential as being physically healthy. As more and more people fall prey to psychological disorders, stress, and other mental illnesses, it’s increasingly becoming crucial to opt for mental health insurance coverage. Hence, check all the coverage details and the period, as well as the additional technicalities, before you take your pick. 

 Frequently Asked Questions 

  • What is the concept and significance of mental health?

Mental health can be a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being, playing a crucial role in overall health, impacting thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

  • Why does mental health insurance cover needs to be compulsory in India?

Compulsory coverage can help address the pervasive mental health challenges by providing financial support for necessary treatments and encouraging a more inclusive approach to healthcare.

News Reporter