Boosting Transgenders Health Insurance: Firms To Spell Out Underwriting Rules Ensuring Transparency

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Boosting Transgenders' Health Insurance: Firms To Spell Out Underwriting Rules Ensuring Transparency

The latest mandate issued by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) comes as a positive step towards including the transgender community in social security benefits, that they were deprived of until recently.

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The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) laid down rules for insurance companies around the country to spell out underwriting rules, specifically for transgender applicants. According to several experts, the move is being hailed for ensuring transparency and making such social security benefits inclusive and accessible for the community.

The circular was issued on March 8 by the regulatory body, asking insurers to provide complete and correct information to avoid any confusion in the future. Along with that, it aims to reduce bias towards the LGBTQIA+ community, who have struggled for time immemorial when it comes to availing life and health insurance in India until recently.

Disclosing Necessary Information

Under the IRDAI directive, the insurers will have to disclose important information regarding the health insurance, from risk assessment to premium determination, especially for the transgender community. "All the insurers are now instructed to publish on their respective websites the aspects of underwriting philosophy and approach about offering health insurance coverage to transgender persons so that they have the complete information on the philosophy adopted by the company," Moneycontrol quotes the circular.

The latest diktat is on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019, under which the government has to facilitate expenses through an insurance scheme that caters to the transgender community. The costs will cover processes such as sex reassignment surgery, hormonal therapy, laser therapy and the like. While some companies provide the necessary coverage, they do not disclose the underwriting details to the applicants, making it difficult for them to apply.

Inclusive Approach

Many experts are hailing this move as it is an inclusive approach. Founder of an insurance broking company, Nivesh.com, Anurag Garg, told the publication, "This is a positive step. Insurers will have to rethink their entire underwriting process and be transparent about it. So far, the philosophy has been vague." As Health Insurance is a basic necessity, the co-founder of an employee wellness company states that the transparent method will also ensure no bias or discrimination on a person's gender or sexual orientation.

Further, it will encourage the transgender community to buy health insurance. Over the years, several firms have discriminated against the community members. With this mandate, the people can come forward and ask for the necessary details before buying the essential policy.

Also Read: Inclusive Healthcare! Kerala's District Hospitals Become Transgender-Friendly

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Writer : Akanksha Saxena
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Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
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Creatives : Akanksha Saxena