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IRDAI Directs Insurance Companies To Stop Excluding Genetic Disorders In New Health Insurance Policies; Cites Delhi HC Judgment [Read Notification]

The Insurance Regulatory and Developing Authority of India (IRDAI) has directed all insurance companies to remove “Genetic Disorders” from the list of exclusions in new health insurance policies issued by them.

In a notification issued on 19 March, the IRDAI has also asserted that no claim in respect of any existing health insurance policy shall be rejected based on exclusions related to the genetic disorder.

It stated:

all insurance companies offering contracts of Health insurance are hereby directed that no claim in respect of any existing health insurance policy shall be rejected based on exclusions related to ‘Genetic Disorder’.

All insurance companies are directed not to include ‘Genetic Disorders’ as one of the exclusions in new health insurance policies issued in respect of all their existing health insurance products and also in the new products launched and/or filed under the provisions of Guidelines on product Filing in Health Insurance Business”

The notification was issued in view of the Delhi High Court judgment declaring as unconstitutional discrimination in health insurance against individuals based on their genetic disposition or genetic heritage, in the absence of appropriate genetic testing and laying down of intelligible differentia.

The Court had categorically held that the right to avail health insurance is an integral part of the right to health and healthcare, as guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It, therefore, opined that the exclusionary clause of “genetic disorders” in insurance policies was too broad, ambiguous and discriminatory – hence, violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

Read the Notification Here

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