The Supreme Court today has issued notice on a plea seeking direction to all Insurance companies to provide medical insurance for treatment of mental illness and on the same basis as is available for treatment of physical illness.
The bench comprising Justice Rohonton Fali Nariman, Justice Navin Sinha and Justice BR Gavai was hearing a petition filed by Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal seeking implementation of Section 21(4) of Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
Section 21 (4) of the Act provides that “every insurer shall make provision for medical insurance for treatment of mental illness on the same basis as is available for treatment of physical illness.”
The grievance of the petitioner is that after the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India issued a letter on August 16, 2018 wherein the General Manager (Health) directed all the insurance companies to comply with Section 21 (4) of the Mental Healthcare Act, however subsequent to the issuance of the letter the IRDA has neither done a follow up nor has taken any action against the defaulting insurance companies.
The petitioner has also pointed out that through an RTI dated 06.02.2019, the petitioner was informed that till date none of the insurers have implemented the order dater August 16, 2018 issued by IRDA.
The petitioner has further submitted that because of the inaction of IRDA thousands of persons who are in dire need of Health Insurance scheme have been deprived of taking benefit of Health Insurance Scheme.
The petitioner has submitted that “Section 21(4) in MHCA, 2017 is a result of ratification of United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) by the Government of India. Article 25 of UNCRPD deals with Health and clause € of the same deals with prohibition of discrimination against Persons with Disabilities in the provisions of Health Insurance as well as life Insurance.”
-India Legal Bureau