The Delhi High Court has directed the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to ensure the products are designed and introduced on an early date for persons with disabilities so as to enable them to obtain health insurance coverage.
A bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh has directed the IRDAI and the insurance companies to submit a status report before March 17, 2023, the next date of hearing.
The court also observed that the persons with disabilities would be entitled to health insurance coverage and products may have to be designed for them.
A plea was moved by Saurabh Shukla who is suffering from multiple health ailments, including tetraplegia due to an injury suffered in 2012.
Shukla, who uses a wheelchair and has limited use of his arms, had approached two insurance companies, Max Bupa Health Insurance Company Ltd and Oriental Health Insurance Company Ltd but was refused any health insurance policy by both of them.
Oriental Insurance Company Ltd counsel submitted that Shukla’s request for health insurance was denied due to his medical history.
But the court said: “There should be no discrimination, as healthcare is concerned, against the he persons with disabilities. Right to life includes right to health and even healthcare.”
The court also allowed Shukla to once again approach these two companies.
By the next date of hearing, a proposal shall be ready, his case shall be considered while the question of extending insurance to him shall be reviewed, it said.