On Monday (April 19, 2021) the Delhi High Court pulled up insurance regulator IRDAI for “turning a blind eye” towards non-implementation of Mental Healthcare Act by insurance companies, saying the day was not far when action will be taken against it.
According to Justice Prathiba M Singh the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) was required to supervise insurance companies and ensure that they followed the law.
Justice Singh said, “I have a strong suspicion that the IRDAI is not taking action against insurance firms and can only do so after a court has issued a notice.” In reply to Justice Singh, court said, “Whatever it is going on is completely unjust. IRDAI can't turn a blind eye. IRDAI cannot be deafeningly deafen action against IRDAI will be needed in the not-too-distant future.”
The court made the remarks when hearing a woman's plea after the National Insurance Company Ltd (NICL) denied her petition for reimbursement of expenses for treatment of schizophrenia on the grounds that mental illnesses were exempt from medical coverage.
According to the court, the Act went into effect in 2018 and prohibits insurance providers from distinguishing between mental and physical disorders. According to the court, the Act went into effect in 2018 and prohibits insurance providers from distinguishing between mental and physical disorders.
Therefore as per the court, it was IRDAI's responsibility to ensure that insurance firms' goods or policies complied with the Act. Court also said that The IRDAI cannot turn a blind eye to the insurance companies' failure to comply with the Act and asked the regulator to request reports from other insurers on any similar allegations made in the current case.