New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has asked
insurance regulator IRDA to make some arrangement to provide
cashless facilities to policyholders in the wake of the
dispute between insurance companies and city hospitals due to
which people having medical insurance are facing difficulties.
"The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority
(IRDA) should, as a regulator of the insurance industry,
intervene and ensure that such changes do not affect existing
policyholders...," said Justice S Muralidhar.
The court disposed of a petition filed by one Vishal
Ahuja after the Additional Solicitor General(ASG) informed the
court that cashless treatment facilities would be provided to
Ahuja`s mother, a cancer patient, forthwith.
Earlier, the court had pulled up IRDA and said "you
cannot leave patients suffering saying that a meeting will be
convened. Patients are not getting treatment because of the
dispute between insurance companies and hospitals. It is your
duty to act timely.
The court had taken strong exception to the remarks of
IRDA Chairperson published in a newspaper in which he was
quoted as saying that it is a matter between insurance
companies and hospitals and there is no regulatory issue
involved in it.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Ahuja whose
53-year mother, a cancer patient, was refused cashless
treatment in Dharamshila Cancer Hospital and other medical
Turning down his plea for cashless treatment, the
hospital authorities said because of the dispute between
insurance companies and hospitals regarding reimbursement of
medical bills, the companies have decided to discontinue
cashless facility for individual policy-holders.
Ahuja then approached the Delhi High Court contending
that he had paid extra premium to Oriental Insurance Company
to avail the cashless facility and IRDA should be directed to
settle the dispute between the insurance companies and the
hospitals as it would take more than a month for getting
reimbursement for treatment from companies.