What is group coverage health insurance?
Employees are an organisation’s most valuable asset, and this is why securing their health is necessary. An ideal plan to secure your employee’s health is a group health policy. A group medical plan covers the members of a group, such as employees in an organisation.
While companies across the globe attract talent through competitive pay, benefits and perquisites play a significant role in attracting and retaining employees. In a group medical health insurance policy, the risk is shared among the members of the group. The premium for group policies also tends to be much lower when compared to individual policies as the policies are purchased in bulk.
Why should a group insurance policy be offered to employees?
Employers can also offer the benefit of coverage for their employees’ family members, including the spouse, children, and sometimes, even the dependant parents of the employee.
From an employee’s perspective, the claims process is easy, as the organisation takes care of most of the formalities. From an employer’s perspective, the employees get a sense of security, which increases productivity and motivation to achieve business goals. Employees are more loyal to the organisation, thus reducing attrition rates.
Offering benefits such as a group health scheme enhances an employer’s goodwill. Employers can also avail of tax benefits with group insurance policies.
Moreover, in April 2020, the Government of India has made it mandatory for employers to offer medical insurance to employees. The COVID-19 pandemic changed lives, and with this new mandate in place, the Government of India ensured that the Indian populace had some sort of health cover.
Price plays a role in determining the type of coverage an organisation offers its employees. Group insurance policies are priced competitively and offer coverage for employees’ families as well. Coverage for OPD (Out-Patient Department) treatment, lab testing, and doctor visits can be added to group insurance policies.
Advantages of a group insurance policy for employees
While the benefits and advantages of group insurance policies differ depending on insurers and the policy that is chosen, they usually include the following.
- There is comprehensive health cover for a wide range of illnesses that is free for employees.
- Group insurance covers pre-existing illnesses, and there is no waiting period.
- Employees are given the option to increase their coverage and include add-ons to their group insurance policy.
- While group insurance policies generally cover spouses and children, employees also have the option to include their parents in the policy coverage.
- Both pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses are covered under a group mediclaim.
- Employees are covered for pre-existing ailments and maternity from the first day of policy activation.
- Medical checkups or submission of records are not required for group insurance policies. Employees automatically become a part of the group insurance plan once they join the organisation.
Employers can extend their focus on their employees’ health and well-being by engaging in activities such as:
- Online consultation with medical professionals
- Tie-ups with diagnostic centres for discounts on medical tests
- Fitness challenges, for example, the company hosted marathons
- Consultation with nutritionists and psychologists
Employers can customise group insurance plans as per the needs of their employees. For example, the percentage of the premium paid can be divided between both the employer and the employee. Employers can pay additional premiums to include coverage like dental surgery, ambulance cost, critical illness, and personal accident, to name a few.
Things to keep in mind when buying a group insurance plan
As an employer, the process to buy an employee insurance policy is quite straightforward and can be completed in just a few steps. You can look at various plans that suit your needs and read the fine print, i.e., the terms and conditions. Most plans come with features including comprehensive support 24×7, free consultations with doctors, coverage for OPD expenses, and a lot more. However, some factors affect the premium you pay and the benefits your employees can avail.
The average age, health, and the number of employees affect the overall cost of your group insurance plan. Another factor to consider is the network hospitals that are tied up with your insurer of choice. Insurers that have a network of reputed hospitals that offer cashless facilities make a good choice.
To stay competitive with other employers, you should choose a group insurance plan that offers similar benefits or exceeds the benefits offered by competing firms. This can help you stand out as an employee-friendly organisation.
While insurance may be affordable on a single policy basis, a group insurance plan is quite a substantial cost for an organisation seeking to insure all its employees. A comparatively affordable plan with comprehensive benefits should be your best bet. If you feel that the stock coverage is inadequate, you can gradually add features to your policy. This will help you conduct a cost-benefit analysis on the features that are important and the ones which are not. Such an approach to your group insurance policy purchase is financially prudent, rather than going all out and purchasing a policy with all the bells and whistles.