Is Depression Covered Under Health Insurance Plans?

In the past, dealing with medical emergencies was quite stressful. Apart from the ailment, you also had to worry about the bills piling up. These days, if you own a health insurance plan, you do not have to worry about the costs associated with the hospital treatments, OPD costs, medicines, etc.

Health insurance plans are insurance policies designed to provide you with financial support during medical emergencies. Purchasing medical insurance in India is quite easy. Many insurers like Tata AIG have launched their official websites to help customers purchase health policies. They also provide tools like calculators to help customers compare health insurance policies. This way, you can get the most optimal family medical insurance plan for your loved ones.

While medical insurance in India will provide you coverage for physical medical emergencies, will it be helpful during mental health issues? Over the years, the increased workload and stressful routines have led to many individuals dealing with different issues like anxiety, depression, etc. Mental health issues like depression can also impact our physical well-being like chronic health issues.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mental health ailment that impacts individuals’ mental well-being and makes them feel unhappy, agitated, anxious, angry, etc. One of the biggest tell-tale signs of depression is losing interest in what a person used to enjoy. Depression is commonly referred to as depressive disorder or clinical depression.

Depression can affect how individuals behave, perceive the world and feel certain emotions. Therefore, it can heavily impact their day-to-day activities as well. It is estimated that approximately 40% of the Indian population suffer from depression.

While depression can impact an individual’s mental well-being, it can also have a physical impact on the individual. With depression, individuals can experience a loss in productivity. Along with this, it can also impact their relationships.

Many depressed individuals sometimes feel quite overwhelmed with inadequacy, leading to them taking harsh steps. Along with this, an individual who has been depressed for a long time may deal with severe medical conditions like cancer, cardiovascular issues, obesity, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, etc.

Symptoms of depression:

  • Feeling sad for a long time
  • Feeling guilty for a long time
  • Losing interest in regular activities
  • Increase or decrease in sleep
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Weight or appetite loss
  • Emotional outbursts of anger, anxiety or irritation
  • Loss of energy or feeling tired constantly
  • Lack of decisiveness

Does Health Insurance Cover Depression?

Yes, depression is covered by health insurance plans in India. Insurers like Tata AIG in India offer financial assistance to help you deal with the treatment costs. As depression is a variant of mental illness, it will be covered by a mental health policy. As per the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), it is a legal compulsion for all insurers to cover mental illnesses under health insurance policies. Based on the Mental Healthcare Act in 2017, mental health conditions must be covered under health insurance plans like physical health conditions.

Does Depression Treatment Come With a Waiting Period?

Yes, treatment for depression will be offered to you after a waiting period. As depression is a mental health issue, it is covered by the health insurance plan after a waiting period of 2 years. Health insurance labels depression as a pre-existing condition if you have been suffering from the issue before purchasing the policy. The waiting period for the issue will differ for different insurers.

Diagnosis of Depression

Diagnosing depression at an early stage is quite important to start the treatment for the issue. However, no specific test can be used for diagnosing depression. Generally, doctors assess an individual’s symptoms after asking them a list of questions for a psychological evaluation. The questionnaire is designed to help the doctor diagnose an individual with depression. The doctor may also ask the individual to get a thyroid test or a Vitamin D deficiency test in a few cases. This is because these issues can also lead to the symptoms of depression.

Treatment of Depression

Depression can lead to severe major health issues. However, you can treat depression with a combination of certain changes in your lifestyle, therapy and medication. However, the treatment can go on for a long time. Moreover, in a few cases where certain health complications have risen, the patient may require hospitalisation. Therefore, dealing with depression can be quite draining financially.

Tips for Dealing With Depression

Here are certain tips you can use to help yourself or someone you know to deal with depression:

  1. Write in a journal and pen down your thoughts. Expression is among the best ways to deal with pent up emotions.
  2. Build a schedule of attainable goals and accomplish them. Achieving small goals can help you get a boost of dopamine.
  3. Reach out to the loved ones in your life and stay involved with them socially. Depression can make you want to withdraw yourself from them.
  4. Introduce exercise in your daily routine. Exercise is a healthy way to deal with conflicting emotions.
  5. Set up a sleep cycle schedule for yourself and stick to it. A regular sleep cycle will help you immensely in the long run.


Depression can be quite exhausting to manage. However, if you’ve purchased a health insurance plan, you will get the appropriate coverage for dealing with mental health issues like depression. If you were diagnosed with depression before purchasing the policy, you would have to deal with the waiting period to get the appropriate coverage. However, the health insurance plan will help you get medical assistance like medication, access to therapy, etc. Along with this, you can also follow a few tips to tackle depression.

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