Introduction

Did you know -

  • Michael Phelps, the Gold Olympic winner in swimming, has ADHD
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, the oh-so-handsome Jack from Titanic, has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Lady Gaga, the honey-voiced singer and actor, has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Daniel Radcliffe, our very own Harry Potter, has OCD

Well, the problem is, when celebs have mental health issues/disorders, we find ourselves inquisitive about it. We read tabloids recording the root cause and symptoms. However, when our next-door neighbour is diagnosed with such mental conditions, the situation goes ‘hush-hush.’ As regressive as this sounds, this is the truth across the entire country. Subsequently, all treatment related to mental health conditions becomes taboo, which unfortunately doesn’t make it any less expensive.

Nonetheless, we need to keep reminding ourselves that mental health is as crucial as physical health and the perfect balance between the two is pivotal in living a great life. And these days it seems that the nation and the globe at large are acknowledging this. Hence, to offer aid with the costs of diagnosis, treatment, and consultations, health insurance providers are now offering plans that offer adequate coverage for mental health conditions.

Such health insurance plans are the demand of the hour, especially among those in the younger age bracket. But the question is, how relevant and effective are these policies in dealing with mental health fallouts? Does it really offer the relief of a financial cushion during the most difficult times or is it just a marketing gimmick? Here’s what we, as insurance experts, think of these health insurance policies.

Mental health awareness in India 2022-23

What are psychological disorders?

Psychological disorders are mental conditions and/or behavioural patterns that reflect an individual’s thoughts and feelings that have been affected by past trauma, circumstances, or certain experiences. Such ailments have a major impact on the way an individual deals with stress, takes decisions, and makes life choices.

Some of the most important psychological disorders include -

  • Sleep disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Stress disorders (Post Traumatic Stress disorders)
  • Schizophrenia and other psychosis
  • Depressive disorders
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Panic attacks
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders, and more

Such psychological disorders often lead to cognitive ailments that complicate the health conditions of individuals. Such high risks to one’s physical well-being make this a priority concern that needs to be addressed specifically. However, when it comes to our country, talks about mental health are such a cumbersome topic.

As of now, we are battling to put ourselves ahead of this stereotyped taboo. More and more importance and priorities are being set toward mental health and well-being. And here’s a look at how India is handling psychological ailments over funds being directed towards its diagnosis, treatment, and consultations.

How is India battling against psychological ailments?

The burnout over pushing their career forward, the stress from education, and the diverse peer pressures have altogether raised psychological health concerns in India. Add to this the result of the prolonged lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, the stress of loss in business and finances, and the consequent rise in cases of depression, anxiety, and so on and so forth.

Following this, India is tackling the concern about psychological ailments in a two-fold manner -

  1. In Budget 2023, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare received INR 89,155 crore. Of this, INR 133.73 crore has been directed at the National Tele Mental Health Programme. This is an initiative launched in 2022 under the National Health Mission that is targeted at improvising the mental health of individuals.
  2. In addition to the latest budget allocation, the inclusion of the Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 into the best health insurance plans by the IRDAI has offered individuals with all the financial aid that they primarily require to deal with their psychological concerns.

While India is still on the back foot in dealing with such a serious issue as mental health, their endeavors are worth mentioning. And in an attempt to follow up with these efforts, health insurance providers are also putting in their contribution by offering coverage for mental ailments to their policyholders. However, is that all that health insurance plans do for those affected by psychological issues? Let’s find out!

Why do psychologically challenged individuals seek health insurance?

  • Psychological treatments aren’t exactly cheap

As crucial as psychological health is, taking care of it isn’t inexpensive. From the diagnosis to the doctor’s consultation fees to the continued treatment of the same - the sessions are pricey since it is a rare specialty that needs to be handled delicately. And compromising with this healthcare service can have an immense dire impact on an individual.

So, to ensure the best quality psychological healthcare you need convenient access to a significant fund. This is feasible quite easily over availing of a health insurance plan. All that you need to do is choose the best health insurance provider and a suitable health insurance policy. This helps you enjoy access to quality healthcare service that caters to your customised medical requirements.

  • Psychological health plays a significant role in overall well-being

When you think of why you avail of health insurance policies, you know it is so that you can continue keeping great physical and financial health. It is so that you can continue to safeguard your finances during a time of medical distress. However, to keep up with an overall great health condition, you can’t ignore the psychological impact. And in case such psychological ailments raise additional physical diseases, you will eventually have to fall back on your health insurance plan for financial coverage during medical emergencies.

Such a tailored approach in comprehensive health insurance policies makes them the ideal plan for those seeking psychological help.

What are the best health insurance plans covering psychological ailments?

BEST HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS COVERED (post-Policy Purchase) WAITING PERIOD FOR THE DISORDERS
Platinum Enhance plan (Aditya Birla) Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Depression, sleep disorder, stress disorders, Bipolar disorders Not applicable
HDFC Ergo
My Health Suraksha
Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Depression, sleep disorder, stress disorders, Bipolar disorders Not applicable
HDFC Ergo
Optima Restore
Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Depression, sleep disorder, stress disorders, Bipolar disorders Not applicable
Care Plus Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Depression, sleep disorder, stress disorders, Bipolar disorders Not applicable
Niva Bupa Reassure Schizophrenia, Anxiety, Depression, sleep disorder, stress disorders, Bipolar disorders Not applicable
BEST HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS COVERED (Pre-Existing Conditions) WAITING PERIOD FOR THE DISORDERS
Platinum Enhance plan (Aditya Birla) Anxiety or Depression Min: 2 Years
Max: 3 years
HDFC Ergo
My Health Suraksha
Anxiety or Depression Min: 2 years
Max: 4 years
HDFC Ergo
Optima Restore
Anxiety or Depression or Bipolar (Based on the medical health status) Min: 2 years
Max: 4 years
Care Plus Anxiety or Depression Min: 2 Years
Max: 3 years
Niva Bupa Reassure Anxiety or Depression Min: 2 Years
Max: 3 years

[Note: Unfortunately there are no comprehensive plans for mental health issues. Issuance of policies for ped mental health issues totally depends on the underwriting team of a health insurance provider. Only, the Care Freedom plan is offered with Permanent exclusion on that particular ailment (depending on the severity of the condition)

Things to remember when availing of a health insurance plan for mental ailments

  • Expect a waiting period

While health insurance providers do offer coverage up to a pre-decided amount to fund the treatment and diagnosis of mental ailments, there is a certain waiting period associated with this. Only after the completion of that waiting period can the insured individual get access to coverage for their treatments. This waiting period extends from 2 to 4 years based on the severity of the condition.

  • Who needs a mental health insurance plan?

The current era is crowded with stress over personal and professional aspects. Sidelining these is an impossible task. And going through them certainly will fetch substantial anxiety, distress, depression, and fallouts that will beckon a multitude of psychological ailments. Such individuals with strained professional and personal bonds and those with a genetic predisposition toward these ailments need to look out for quality health insurance plans that come with the psychological ailment coverage feature.