All about Group Health Insurance for commons

Web team: Organizational set-up in today’s workforce environment is very different from what it was 20 years ago.  The competition is stiff and employees have to upgrade their skills constantly to keep in tune with the every evolving technological driven eco-system. While the work pressure on workers has indeed increased sometimes resulting in employee burnout and heighten instances of job stress cases, employers have become very mindful of this, thus bringing a change in the way human resource development strategies are implemented. Companies have now begun to understand the relevance of talent acquisition and woes of attrition rate that distinctly impacts the productivity and growth of business.

Employers now pay specific attention towards developing a healthy company culture that promotes work-life balance and matters related to employee health has taken center stage.  In an attempt to mitigate the risks of employee health, several businesses in India offer group health insurance policy. As the name suggests, group health insurance scheme is a comprehensive health plan that covers a group of people belonging to the same company or social group.

Key features of Group Health Insurance:

  • Some insurers cover boarding expenses, anesthetist fee, oxygen and diagnostic along with X-ray and dialysis cost among others
  • The policy covers both pre and post hospitalization expenses
  • Some group health policies also cover domiciliary expenses
  • Almost every group health insurance offer maternity benefits

In a nation like India, where people do not consider health insurance as a necessity, group health insurance is a boon for individuals who do not own any health cover. The biggest advantage of group health insurance policy is that it offers comprehensive health protection at a cost-effective price. Although the scope of group health insurance coverage varies from company to company, most schemes provide maternity cover and benefits against pre-existing ailments. At the same time, corporate health insurance can also offer its employee the option to expand the health plan, however, is subject to voluntary deductions.  For a detailed understanding of business health insurance policy, here are some main advantages about it –

Affordable Price–Affordability is the mainstay of group insurance policy.  With a monthly deduction of just Rs. 200 to Rs. 300, employers offer group health insurance policy to the employees. However, the cost of the policy will be more if the employee opts for any of add on benefits.

No Waiting Period – Most corporate health insurance policies do not havea waiting period. This essentially means that all diseases are covered from day one.

No Medical Tests – An employee is not required to undergo any kind of medical tests before coming under the umbrella of group health insurance policy.

Although corporate insurance health plans are designed to secure the health needs of the employee, the employer profoundly benefits from it as well. Corporate health insurance policy is particularly beneficial for small and medium start enterprises that at times face the challenge to attract new talent to their business. A comprehensive health plan will not only encourage new employees onboard but also assist in retaining talented resource pool. At the same time, since the expenditure on group health insurance is seen as a business expense, the employer also enjoys tax benefits under the IT Act.

A pertinent question here is, are corporate health plans enough to take care of individual health need at a time when the cost of health treatment is growing at a double-digit pace of growth?

The answer to this question is a definite no.  Although, from the face of it, the scheme may appear to be enough; in actuality the scope of the policy is limited. To substantiate the policy, individuals must feel encouraged to take personal or individual health plans. A major highlight of individual health plan is that besides, offering an optimum self-cover, the policy can also be extended to the insured’s family members. However, this is not the case in most corporate health insurance plans.

Here are some key differences between: Group health insurance Vs Individual health insurance

ParametersGroup Health InsuranceIndividual Health Insurance
CoverageIt is a  policy which is bought by an organization to cover health of its employeesIt is an insurance policy which covers individual health
CostAs it involves a large number of people, premium rates are lowIt is more costly as premium charges are borne by individual
FlexibilityAs standard group health insurance is offered to every employee, there is less scope for flexibilityAn individual can plan its policy as per his/her needs
Tax benefitsThe employer is entitled to get tax benefitsBenefit is given to an individual who buys the policy

Unlike, group insurance policy in which the benefits ceases to apply in case the employee leaves the job or is in between jobs, the individual health insurance scheme continues to offer health cover to the policyholder. To conclude this discussion, we can say that besides group insurance, people must also opt for a personal health plan. This way you can enjoy the benefits of both types of health policy. In a case of minor illnesses and checkups (which can also be a costly affair) claim your group insurance plan. This way, your individual plan will remain untouched, and you will also get the advantage of the no-claim bonus.