Decoding Insurance

Importance of Group Health Insurance and Wellness Programmes for Employees

Importance of Group Health Insurance and Well-Being of Employees

If you are a small business owner, then among the key concerns amidst the pandemic will be the health and wellness of your employees. Do they have the financial wherewithal to deal with the repercussions of a medical emergency like Covid-19? Will they need to dent their savings to pay exorbitant hospital bills? The solution to this is offering them group health insurance.

Group health insurance is a type of health insurance plan that covers group of people working in the same organization. It is offered as a benefit to the employees and in most cases, premium is borne by the employer. It is also called corporate health insurance or employee health insurance.

Features and benefits of group health insurance

The scope of a group health insurance plan is not only limited to the employee but also his/her spouse, parents, children etc. It also covers pre and post-hospitalization, hospitalization, day care procedures, domiciliary hospitalization etc. One can add other benefits too such as maternity coverage, accidental cover to the base policy. Another advantage of group health insurance is that it is affordable than a family floater/ individual health insurance plan. As an employer, you can also avail tax benefit under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act for buying a group health insurance cover. As an employee, if you are contributing towards the premium of group health cover, then you can avail tax benefit under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.

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Health and wellness benefits

Nowadays, group health insurance provides many wellness benefits to employees. This is because preventive healthcare has become an integral part of our lifestyle. Increasing pollution, stress, anxiety, sedentary lifestyle has led to increased vulnerability towards health disorders especially in metro cities. The occurrence of critical illnesses is on the rise in India. One in 10 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime and one in 15 will die from the disease, according to a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February 2020. Cardiac ailments caused more deaths in 2016 (28%) in India compared to other non-communicable diseases, as per a study by health journal The Lancet published in 2018. Moreover, the cost of treatment of critical illness is also increasing. Cancer treatment in metro cities can cost as high as Rs 15 lacs. Treatment cost for cardiac arrest can be in the range of Rs 2.5 lacs- 5 lacs. This is where preventive healthcare comes in.

What is preventive healthcare?

Preventive healthcare means the measures taken to prevent a disease. It includes visiting your healthcare provider timely for screening of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, update vaccinations, etc. The screening helps assess and reduce the risk of disease before it manifests in the body and turns critical. Early detection of a disease not only saves lives but can also protect an individual’s family from emotional, physical and financial trauma.

What does preventive healthcare include?

Preventive healthcare and wellness programs include the following:
· Diagnostics and health monitoring
· Fitness and recreational sports
· Rejuvenation and wellness therapies

Indians are waking up to health and wellness programs in a big manner and preventive healthcare seems to be the epicenter of attention. According to a report by Numr Research, about 33% of millennials spent more than Rs 4000 on their health and wellness every month. 

These days, many insurers offer benefits through wellness programs wherein they offer reward points to policyholders for staying fit and healthy. They keep track of employee’s wellness such as their step count, sleep patterns through wearables and smartphone applications. Insurers offer lucrative discounts on the renewal amount as rewards to the policyholders.

Role of corporates in preventive healthcare of employees

Many companies do not pay heed to preventive healthcare for their employees. There is still a conventional mindset that healthcare of employees is not linked to work. However, it is important to understand that many employees do not pay attention to timely health consultation because of fast-paced work culture and busy lifestyles. Hence, this leads to aggravation of health problems resulting in absenteeism at work. Therefore, it is detrimental to take care of health and wellness of your employees for improved productivity.

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An ASSOCHAM paper stated that absenteeism rate can be reduced by 1% and improvement in chronic and lifestyle diseases can happen amongst employees if corporates adopt Corporate Wellness Program. Gone are the days when employees only cared about their paycheques, nowadays they want added benefits too. Offering them benefits such as health insurance will help in retention.

Policybazaar offers corporate insurance including employee benefit policies to SMEs and large corporates through its platform. “Policybazaar is continuing to innovate & change the insurance landscape in India. With its digital & easy to use features it has already given a lot of power in the hands of consumers. The way Policybazaar has changed the retail insurance platform, we are seeing the same happening for the corporate consumers with enhanced scope to service masses in terms of basic service offering & value-added services which were missing in all these years,” added Mishra.

The brand facilitates digital quotations to corporate consumers for their employees’ insurance requirements, which would otherwise be a lengthy process, and allow for digital purchasing and servicing. “The experience so far has been amazing as we see a lot of new initiatives coming our way through Policybazaar which is helping in engaging with our colleagues in a better way & supporting them with the changing requirements around wellness,” he said.

Policybazaar's goal is to develop high-quality servicing for corporate employees with a high degree of platform-based flexibility to manage their policies, along with integrated wellness and OPD offerings. 
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