The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has directed all general and health insurers to integrate Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH) treatments on par with conventional medical approaches in their health insurance policies — both existing and new.
The new guidelines, set to take effect from April 1, 2024, will empower policyholders with the choice to adopt AYUSH treatments of their preference.
Recognising the escalating popularity of AYUSH treatments, the IRDAI has urged insurance companies to establish board-approved policy guidelines for AYUSH coverage.
The guidelines further mandate the inclusion of quality standards and procedures for enrolling AYUSH hospitals or daycare centres as network providers for cashless treatments.
In a press statement, the IRDAI stated, "In recent times, AYUSH treatments have garnered increased popularity and have become an established branch of medicine. Considering the growing demand for AYUSH treatments, there is a need to consider these treatments at par with other treatments."
The circular outlines that insurers must incorporate controls and standard operating procedures for various activities, including enrolling hospitals into their network, and establishing necessary clauses in health service agreements with AYUSH facilities.
To facilitate the smooth implementation of these guidelines, the Ministry of Ayush constituted a 'Core Group of Experts for the Insurance Sector' on October 4, 2023.
Commenting on the directive, Sharad Bajaj, COO of InsuranceDekho stated, "AYUSH treatment is deeply rooted in our cultural heritage, prioritising physical and mental health. The cost-effectiveness of AYUSH treatments adds another dimension to this initiative, benefiting both insurers and policyholders."
Bajaj believes this initiative will empower individuals to make informed choices about their healthcare, embracing a wider range of options from traditional and modern medical systems.
SOURCE & CREDIT: CNBC TV18