HC says all insurance companies liable to give effect to Mental Healthcare Act from 2018

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New Delhi, Apr 19 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Monday held that all insurance companies are liable to give effect to the Mental Healthcare Act 2017 in their policies from the time it came into force in 2018 and any delay in doing so would be 'contrary to the letter and spirit of the law'.

Justice Prathiba M Singh said insurance regulator IRDAI is duty bound to supervise the insurance companies and ensure that they comply with the Act and it 'cannot turn a blind eye' to non-implementation of the same.

IRDAI has to ensure that all the insurance products issued by insurance companies are in accordance with the law, the high court said.

The court's directions came on a woman's plea whose claim for reimbursement of costs for treatment of schizophrenia were rejected by the National Insurance Company Ltd on the ground that psychiatric disorders were excluded from medical cover. The court held that her claim for Rs 6.67 lakh was reimbursable and that she was entitled to the same.

The court also imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on the insurance company to be paid to the woman for forcing her to opt for litigation to claim reimbursement. PTI HMP SA