PB, 29th May, 2013: Major insurance companies in the country are refusing to abide by the IRDA order to include Ayush products and services in the mediclaim insurance policy. IRDA issued a directive in this regard sometime in last February after repeated representations from ayush industry.
IRDA under section 5(1) of the IRDA (Health Insurance) Regulations, 2013, had issued a notification directing inclusion of the Indian System of Medicines (ISM) in the mediclaim insurance policy. But, no insurance companies have taken steps to comply with the IRDA order so far.
It is understood that insurance companies across the country are citing ignorance on this matter to avoid providing coverage to the ISM sector under mediclaim policy. Ironically, the new regulation which came into force with effect from February 18, 2013, states that the insurers may provide coverage to non-allopathic treatments provided the treatment is taken in a government hospital or in any institute recognised by government and or is accredited by Quality Council of India (QCI), National Accreditation Board on Health (NABH) or any other suitable institutions.
However, Prabodh Shah, president, Gujarat Ayurvedic Aushadh Manufacturers Association (GAAMA), informed that most of the insurance companies in Gujarat have been claiming that they have yet not received any notification from the IRDA on this matter. “We are shocked by this attitude which constantly sidelines the interest of the ASU industry. What is more concerning is that this delay in realising our long standing demand, is resulting in undue difficulties to the patients who are keenly awaiting to utilise the benefit of mediclaim policy for ISM treatment options,” Shah pointed out.
He further stressed that the only way to deal with this issue is to ensure that the IRDA ensues a sensitisation drive on this issue among the insurance companies so that they may not pretend ignorance on this matter.