On June 2, 2020, there was circular that stated ‘Every Insurance company has to ensure that their insurance policy should be designed in such as way that persons with disabilities and other persons can also opt for the policy’
Delhi Court in their hearing held on 12th December, directed Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to call a meeting with all Insurance Companies to design their products for persons suffering from disabilities, HIV Aids, Mental Illness diseases as well as for transgenders.
The court said that the process of designing such products shall be supervised by the IRDAI and to be released at the earliest.
This order was passed by the Delhi High Court in a plea brought to light by Saurabh Shukla, who was suffering from multiple ailments and to an extent where he is confined to a wheelchair that has restricted his arm movements.
Shukla states that he had approached two insurance companies;Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Limited and Oriental Health Insurance Company Limited for making his health insurance claim. However, both the insurance companies denied the claim due to his past history and his condition of disability. This was then escalated to the Commissioner of Disabilities who took the matter to IRDAI, which was left unattended.
The court directed the insurance companies to the Regulations 8B and 8C of IRDAI Health Insurance Regulation,2016 which states that it is mandatory that the health insurers provide coverage to disabled persons as well. Justice Singh said that a perusal of Sections 3, 25 and 26 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act makes it clear that there can not be any discrimination against the claims made by disabled person.
With that the Court allowed Shukla to approach the insurance companies again and that his claim will be reviewed. Justice Singh also mentioned that the term ‘Substandard Lives’ is being used in respect of the persons with disability and other categories. The Court has asked IRDAI to make amendments in this terminology and to ensure that no such terminology is used in its regulations and other documents.
Delhi High Court has asked IRDAI and the insurance companies to submit a status report before 17th March, 2023 which is the next date of hearing.
Credits: Saurabh Shukla