Group Health Insurance Plan or Regular Health Insurance Plan - How to choose one?
Published on 24th Aug 2020 EST Read time 4 Mins
The global pandemic has taught us all something extremely vital - the necessity of having health insurance. The combined threat of unpredictable disease spread and rising health inflation have opened our eyes to the need for coverage for medical expenses. A health insurance plan helps to prepare oneself during such medical emergencies. You can secure yourself and your family’s health with a regular health insurance plans, or group health insurance plans.
What is regular Health Insurance?
Regular health insurance, on the other hand, is crafted for individual users who have the freedom and flexibility to customize their plans based on their health needs or medical history. These policies are bought individually, or customized to cover parents, spouse, children and other relatives as well.
What is Group Health Insurance?
A group health insurance is designed to provide comprehensive healthcare coverage to a group of people, usually employees of an organization. The group policies are purchased by companies and organizations who are looking to secure their employees with a common, but robust health care plan and the premium is borne by the employer. Often known as corporate policies, these may be pre-defined while some organizations may choose to customize it based on their employees’ requirements.
How is a Regular Health Plan different from group Health Plan?
While these health insurance plans may contextually seem similar to many, there is a difference between the two on many aspects like cost, coverage, eligibility, etc.
Premium Costs: The group health insurance is considerably cost-effective since it has many sub-limits, co-payments and capping. These policies can be availed at a low or no cost as the employees are not liable to pay the premium, unless they are customizing it for additional benefits. Many customers often skip buying an individual health plan if their corporate policy offers ample cover for them. On the other hand, a regular health insurance plan costs a bit more, comparatively. It is a single policy with focus on maximum coverage, room for changes, freedom of plan migrations and optional add- ons as well. It is often designed based on the family or health history of the individual. This is why experts recommend buying health insurance at a younger age where premiums are comparatively lower.
No Claim Bonus: A regular health insurance plan, if unclaimed for a certain period of time, is eligible for a no-claim bonus on sum insured. You can consider it as a reward for being healthy, which you receive in the form of extra coverage or incremental cover update at no additional cost. However, you do not get this bonus in a group health insurance plan even if you have not made any claim throughout the policy tenure.
Control and Convenience: All the formalities of buying a group health insurance is done by your organization. While signing up for insurance, much of your medical and financial history may get overlooked. In a regular health insurance policy, your family and medical history come into priority. Even if individual health insurance policy costs more or has a tedious approval process or needs medical tests, you have many plans, coverage, and policy tenure,options. These plans are transparent, reliable, and have flexibility,in comparison to a group policy. You have more control you’re your individual policy unlike that in a group policy.
Eligibility: In a regular health insurance plan, the insurance provider looks into your financial, medical and family health history to determine your eligibility for an insurance cover. In group health plans, if you are a part of the organizationthat is purchasing this policy on your behalf, you are covered under this policy for as long as you are employed.
Which One Should you Go For?
If you are someone who is looking for insurance but can’t manage to pay for it, then a group health insurance plan can be a real lifesaver. Your policy premium costs are paid by your company,and your medical treatments in case of emergencies are duly covered without inflicting any monetary pressure on you. However, you are covered only as long as you are part of the organization. Once you retire or leave the company, your insurance coverage too will come to an end.
As a result, you will have no choice but to go for an individual health insurance at a higher premium considering your age. Additionally, group insurance seems like a tempting idea with low or no cost premium, it does not offer you
coverage against specific diseases and treatments like a customized individual health plan can.
This blog is written by Dr. Kavita Ganesh
Asst. Vice President, Health & Accident Product Underwriting
About The Expert : Dr. Kavita Ganesh holds over 15 years of work experience in health insurance industry. She highly recommends buying health insurance for securing finances in case of a medical emergency. Looking at the current pandemic situation, she enforces the idea of having a higher sum insured for covering the entire family.
Therefore, it is recommended to add the extra layer of regular health insurance plan on top of your group insurance plan and ensure that you remain financially as well as health-wise, safe and secure.
Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.