Group Health Insurance vs. Individual Health Insurance
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Updated date : 04 February 2021
If you’re reading this, you probably already know why getting a health insurance cover is a good idea. But if you’re new to the scene, be advised that health insurance comes in handy allowing you to focus on getting the best medical help rather than having to focus on arranging money for treatment, at times of medical emergencies.
A health insurance policy also helps you take long-term investment decisions, because you know that you’ve iron-clad protection against any medical emergencies that can easily wipe out all your savings. Today, there is a virtual ocean of health insurance plans available ay one’s disposal as insurers offer a wide range of health insurance products to make it easy for consumers to take their pick.
But what if your employer has included you in a group health insurance policy? Can group health insurance adequately protect you and your family in times of medical emergencies? Let’s take a look at the key arguments behind group health insurance vs. individual health insurance.
The Pros: Benefits of Group Health Insurance over Individual Health Insurance
Group medical insurance has several advantages as against stand-alone health insurance products. For instance, a medical check-up is often not required before you are signed up for group health insurance. Individual policies require medical insurance information. You will have coverage from the day you join an organisation or get the policy papers.
Importantly, group medical insurance often comes cheap, costing only about a third of individual health plans. You can get maternity benefits from group medical insurance, something many individual health insurance policies don’t offer.
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In addition, all your pre-existing diseases are covered under the group insurance plan, which is usually not the case with individual insurance products. You can also make a claim in the first 30 days of getting group insurance cover, while individual plans allow you to do so only in the cases of medical emergency.
Insurers often assign a relationship manager to an employer in order to take care of workers’ queries and apprehensions, and to help out with paperwork. Such assistance is not really possible with individual policies. With individual health plans, you are often required to co-pay for dependents aged over 60 years. But, this is not required for group medical insurance packages.
The Cons: Limitations of Group Health Insurance Vs. Individual Health Insurance
Now, let’s talk about the downside of group health insurance over individual health plans. Group insurance policies cannot be customised to individual needs. Employers may not offer a well-rounded product for the benefit of their workers. They may even choose to restrict coverage only to you, your spouse, and your children, leaving your parents in the lurch. Cost-conscious companies are most likely to do this. In such cases, you are often forced to buy individual policies for your elderly parents and this moistly proves to an expensive affair.
Then, there is a common fear that employers may withdraw the benefits of group medical insurance, whenever it becomes necessary. They may, on the other hand, ask you to pay the premiums for the health insurance policy.
Significantly, your group insurance policy won’t be of any help after your retirement. You will then have to buy a stand-alone insurance policy at an extra cost. The advantage of having an individual policy is that you can keep renewing it each year by paying inexpensive premiums.
Group health insurance plans undoubtedly go a long way in addressing concerns over medical issues. It is clear that group insurance falls short when it comes to customising solutions to your needs and preferences. Moreover, benefits may be taken away from you any time at the discretion of your employer. Therefore, getting an individual health insurance policy for yourself and your loved ones is highly recommended. This will act as an added shield, protecting you and your family from financial challenges and difficulties during medical crises.
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