Does Health Insurance Cover Depression?
Do Health Insurance Policies Cover Depression

Does Health Insurance Cover Depression?

People immediately run to a doctor in case of food poisoning or a head injury because physical conditions or illnesses are prioritized and handled with utmost seriousness. However, everything becomes taboo when it comes to mental health issues like depression. This is because individuals are generally unaware of and uncaring towards mental illnesses.

In India, depression is one of the most common mental health conditions and affects a large percentage of people. According to the WHO, 1 in 3 Indians suffer from depression. Purvi Manghi, a Product Associate at Riskcovry (a digital insurance company), once said “As people are becoming more educated, there is rising awareness about mental health. With 33% of India’s population in depression, the human count leads to approx. 50 crores. This is just a fraction of the population that can be helped with mental illness assistance”.

Although getting help for depression is essential for recovery, many people may find it pocket-draining due to the high expense of treatment and care. This has led to the subject of whether depression is covered by health insurance policies in India or not.

In this article, we will explore the same!

Is Depression Covered By Your Health Insurance?

Yes, some health insurance plans in India do cover depression. The inclusion of psychological diseases like depression, anxiety, etc. in health insurance coverage has begun as a result of the public’s rising awareness of the importance of mental health.

The Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 specifies that mental diseases must be covered by health insurance, which is one of its key provisions. As a result, from October 1, 2022, IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) made it mandatory for all health insurance providers to treat mental illness the same as any other physical illness. 

Ankit Agrawal, CEO and co-founder of InsuranceDekho stated: “For a long time, health insurance policies didn’t cover mental illnesses in India. But fortunately, we are now seeing a shift in the trend. Some time back, all health insurance companies were only covering physical health issues and disorders. But now, a few are offering cover for psychological disorders as well.”

However, “In newer policies, claims cannot be denied and policies coming for underwriting also have to assess the policy and accept or reject basis the board approved guidelines”, says Satish Gidugu (CEO and Whole Time Director at Medi Assist).

List Of Health Insurance Plans That Cover Depression

Since mental health insurance is just picking up in India and insurance companies are being slow to cover mental illnesses like depression in their policies, it becomes difficult for people to find out which health insurance plans cover depression.

Here’s a short list of health insurance plans that certainly cover depression.

  1. HDFC Ergo My Health Suraksha Plan

HDFC Ergo My Health Suraksha Plan is specifically designed to provide 360-degree protection against skyrocketing medical expenses. The plan is a delight for individuals, families, and elderly persons searching for the appropriate health cover ranging from 3 lacs to 5 lacs. The plan comes in three variants, namely Silver Smart, Gold Smart, and Platinum Smart.

  1. Reliance’s Health Infinity Insurance Policy

The Reliance Health Infinity Insurance plan offers the policyholder comprehensive health insurance protection against costs associated with unexpected medical expenses. Numerous alluring advantages are included with the plan, including no sub-limits, 90 days of free cancellation, and a variety of sum-insured options. Additionally, it provides a number of add-on coverage options that one can choose by paying an additional premium while purchasing the plan.

  1. Niva Bupa’s Go Activ Plan

Niva Bupa’s Go Activ Plan is a modern health insurance plan that offers 24/7 access to a variety of features. The plan offers cashless OPD and diagnostic services in addition to covering a variety of treatment costs. The plan is specifically designed to offer protection to both individuals and their family members.

  1. Aditya Birla Activ Health Platinum Enhanced Insurance Plan

Aditya Birla Activ Health Platinum Enhanced Insurance Plan is a unique plan that offers incredible features like 100% health returns, coverage for modern treatment, coverage for COVID-19 hospitalization, and a chronic management program. It serves as a safeguard for healthcare and finances so that an individual and his/her family can lead happy, fulfilling lives.

Limitations For Coverage Of Depression

According to the guidelines, all insurers must offer coverage for mental diseases on the same terms as those for physical illnesses. However, it is crucial to remember that the coverage offered for mental diseases, including depression, may have some restrictions and exclusions. For instance, some insurance plans can include a waiting period before covering mental health issues or might cap the amount of money that will be covered for mental health treatments. 

Some of the limitations are:

  • Pre-Existing Conditions: If a person has a pre-existing condition, such as depression, insurance companies may not offer coverage following the waiting period.
  • Waiting Periods: Insurance companies may impose a waiting period of a particular number of years before covering mental illnesses like depression.
  • Sub-Limits: In some health insurance policies, the amount covered for mental illnesses like depression may have sub-limits.
  • Exclusions: Some depression-related treatments or procedures might not be covered by health insurance plans.

How Much Is The Waiting Period For Depression Cover?

The waiting period for depression is typically 2 to 4 years. However, it may vary depending on the insurance company selected. To learn more about the waiting time that may be enforced on the coverage, you can contact the respective insurer.

Make sure the health insurance plan you choose specifically includes coverage for mental illness when you are purchasing it. You should exercise caution when choosing a health insurance plan because many still do not cover mental illness.

Benefits Of Depression Cover In Health Insurance Policies

Let’s look at some of the benefits of having depression covered by health insurance:

  • Wider Coverage: The majority of the depression cover plans are made to provide both inpatient and outpatient coverage in addition to an adequate total insured amount. The plan includes coverage for the cost of pre- and post-hospitalization, treatment, and diagnosis.
  • Mandatory By Law: Including depression in health insurance is mandated by law, and thus, you as a policyholder are protected and have the full right to obtain financial aid in case of suffering from depression.
  • Can Increase Your Coverage: Under specific terms and conditions outlined by the insurer, the coverage of such plans may be increased. You may also obtain cashless claim payments under your insurance at one of the insurer’s affiliated hospitals.
  • Looks After The Hefty Medical Expenses: Since the costs of treating mental illnesses like depression are high, having a depression cover in your health insurance saves you from breaking the bank.

Conclusion

While we should make every effort to prevent depression, no one can foresee when it will strike or how it will affect our general welfare. Therefore, it is essential to have a health insurance plan that covers the treatment of such conditions.

In case it is detected on time, the costs will be covered by your health plan, allowing you to focus on other matters. For a hassle-free experience, review the policy’s inclusions and exclusions before choosing one!

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