Health insurance is insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses among individuals. By estimating the overall risk of health care and health system expenses, among a targeted group, an insurer can develop a routine finance structure, such as a monthly premium or payroll tax, to ensure that money is available to pay for the health care benefits specified in the insurance agreement.
Being employed has its own set of perks. You get financially independent, your career gets on the growth track and you work hard for those appraisals and promotions. The employer too provides you a gamut of benefits like contribution towards the EPF scheme, gratuity, superannuation and also a group health insurance coverage.
Amidst other employer benefits which are realizable after a long tenure, usually upon retirement, the employer sponsored health insurance scheme is a blessing for the employees as it provides them coverage for themselves and their families and that too without a time-specific condition.
A group health insurance scheme comes with a lot of benefits and as such finds favor with the employers and the employees alike. Providing health insurance at a cheap cost is the star feature of the group health plans among others. Let us have a look at the various benefits of a group health insurance plan for those of you who still count the lower premiums the only feature:
As stated above, group health plans come with a cheaper premium incidence against individual health insurance plans and are thus beneficial.
Coverage for family too
Besides covering the employee, a group health plan also extends coverage to the employee’s spouse, children and in some cases, the dependent parents. Covering the entire family provides the much-needed relief to the employee in the context of health insurance.
While covering the members under a corporate health plan, individual medical underwriting of every employee is not done. All the individuals employed within the organization affecting the health insurance plan would be covered by virtue of their employment. Thus, if any employee has any ailments, he can get covered under a corporate group health plan even if his individual proposal for health insurance is rejected.
Apart from being cheap, premiums are usually paid by the employer or shared by both the employer in employee. It is in very rare cases when the employee is supposed to pay the premium for his coverage. Thus, since the employer is bearing full or partial cost of the coverage, the plan comes free of cost to the employee. Even if the employee is paying a partial or full payment of the premium, the outgo is very small (because the premium is cheap) and is easily affordable.
Yes, a corporate health insurance plan definitely entails a lot of benefits, but there are some things which should be checked before you become complacent with your employer-sponsored health plan.
Things you should check
Though the coverage includes family members and is easy to obtain, in the absence of a thorough medical underwriting of each employee covered, the coverage extended is very basic in nature. It covers for basic hospitalization costs and is not customized to suit your needs. So, you should find out what is the scope of coverage extended under the plan.
Level of insurance
The coverage being basic, the level of Sum Assured provided is also not very high. If your corporate plan provides you with a Rs.1 or Rs.2 lakh of coverage, you need to check whether the coverage level would be sufficient enough to take care of all your medical expenses.
Coverage for parents
Even if your corporate health plan mentions that it is a family floater health plan, you should make sure which family members are actually covered in your plan. Your dependent parents might be left out from the scope of your corporate plan’s coverage even though their coverage is more important because of the higher probability of medical assistance in older ages.
You would be covered under your employer’s health plan for as long as you are employed with the same employer. Continuing to work for the same employer till retirement is a thing of the past in today’s age and you should address the continuity issue of your corporate plan after you leave employment.
Also there is a probability that your employer may decide to discontinue the group insurance plan and or may decide to cover only the employee at anytime during your work tenure which would leave you in a lurch.
What should you do?
A corporate health plan is a very attractive option and fulfills your health insurance requirement, albeit not fully. The above issues pose a problem and the only solution lies in having an independent health insurance plan to supplement your corporate plan.
The facility of customization, optimum coverage level, comprehensive coverage, coverage for parents and lifelong renewability would be provided by an independent health insurance policy for you and your family members. So, don’t be complacent with your corporate health plan. Cover yourself and your family with another health insurance policy for a better and a more comprehensive coverage.