The Ombudsman of the Kerala-Lakshadweep region of the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) has informed the Ayurveda community in Kerala that his office will try to bring all kinds of Ayurveda treatments under medical insurance coverage. He was speaking in a meeting organised by Ayurveda Medicine Manufacturers’ Organisation of India (AMMOI) to felicitate him for winning the excellence award from government of India. According to him, several insurance companies neglect to reimburse the claims by arguing that 50 per cent of the Ayurveda treatments are not diseases, but are ‘treatments for pleasures’ or ‘sukha chikitsa’. This type of treatments cannot be reimbursed as claimed by the companies.
A concerted effort from the side of the Ayurveda community, especially from the side of hospital managements to get the treatments covered under health schemes. The north Indian insurance companies are showing a step-motherly attitude towards Ayush systems. A solution for this neglect can be found through awareness by industry, hospitals and government. There are 54 insurance companies in the country. Out of this, only 24 companies are considered to be giving benefits of health schemes to the people. But only eight companies clear Ayurveda treatment claims and that too for treatments in government hospitals.