IRDAI Current Affairs
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has asked insurers to cover mental illness under medical insurance policy from immediate effect, treating it at par with physical illness. At present, insurers exclude mental illness from ambit of medical insurance policies.
IRDAI’s directive follows Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 enacted by Parliament and came into force from May 2018. The section 21(4) of said Act mandates every insurer to make provision for medical insurance for treatment of mental illness on same basis as available for treatment of physical illness. According to provisions of the Act, mental healthcare includes analysis and diagnosis of person’s mental condition and treatment as well as care and rehabilitation of such person for his mental illness or suspected mental illness.
As per Ministry of Law and Justice, mental illness is defined as substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs behaviour, judgment, capacity to recognise reality or ability to meet ordinary demands of life. It also includes mental conditions associated with abuse of alcohol and drugs, but does not include mental retardation which is condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of person, specially characterised by subnormality of intelligence.
Bringing mental illness under medical insurance policy, will ensure life of dignity to those who have mental health issues. It will help to create awareness, acceptance and inclusion of mental illness as any other ailment. Moreover, it will bring mental health disorders at par with physical illnesses, which will normalize diagnoses, reduce associated myths and stigma related mental health disorders. It will be in lines with global practice, as globally, companies cover mental illness after initial waiting period of two-three years.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has set up 10-member committee to review norms related to Insurance Marketing Firms (IMF) with an aim to increase insurance penetration in the country. The committee will be headed by Suresh Mathur (ED-IMF, IRDAI).
Terms of Reference
The committee has been asked to revisit IRDAI (Registration of Insurance Marketing Firms) Regulations, 2015. It will recommend guidelines on areas on which regulations of IMFs are silent. It will also recommend measures for strengthening distribution channel of IMFs by taking up products which fall under jurisdiction of other financial sector regulators.
IMF’s new distribution channel was introduced by IRDAI in 2015, with objective of increasing insurance penetration through area-wise registration approach. The channel has now been in operation for three years. The committee was constituted to review existing regulations essential for distribution channel to evolve and fulfil the objective of spreading insurance coverage to all layers of the society.
Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDA)
IRDA is an apex statutory body that regulates and develops the insurance industry in India. It was constituted as per provisions of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999. It is headquartered in Hyderabad. Telangana.
Functions of IRDA: It protects rights of insurance policy holders, provide registration certification to life insurance companies and renew, modify, cancel or suspend this registration certificate as and when appropriate. It also promotes efficiency in conduct of insurance business, promotes and regulates professional organisations connected with insurance and reinsurance business. It also regulate investment of funds by insurance companies, adjudicates disputes between insurers and intermediaries or insurance intermediaries.