Why employer health insurance might not be enough?
You recently landed a new job that pays you well and comes with several perks. Once you accept the offer, you are informed that the company has tied up with a leading insurance provider for a health insurance cover for all employees - and you could get a great cover for a very affordable price.
You breathe a sigh of relief that you have free health insurance - and you don't have to spend time, money, or put yourself through the arduous task of finding and buying a personal health insurance plan! With this company health insurance, you are truly sorted - right?
There are many situations where your corporate health insurance can fall short. And, when you or your family needs cover for hospitalisation, it might just be too late to go back and buy a personal insurance plan.
These situations are hard to imagine but occur more often than you'd think - giving us 3 reasons why you should not entirely rely on your corporate health insurance plan for your healthcare needs.
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3 reasons you cannot rely only on your company health plan
- It will discontinue as soon as you move from this company: Your corporate health insurance policy is a group insurance policy tied to the company you are currently working with, and not to you specifically. This means that once you leave this job, you will be left without a cover. And should you choose to change your career path - decide to pursue higher studies or even join a budding startup, you might end up without health insurance.
This is extremely risky - especially considering that you will be older by the time you decide to move jobs - which brings us to the next point…
- You might not get the policy later: As you grow older the risk of getting a lifestyle disease like diabetes or hypertension increases. Once you suffer from a chronic lifestyle disease, the insurer may hike premiums by 20-50% to cover the additional risk.
In addition to these premium hikes, there's always a risk that your proposal might be declined altogether, and you might not get a policy at all.
Imagine growing older, moving closer to your retirement date, and realising that you will not get a health insurance plan for an affordable cost anymore - so, you've to make the choice - of either going without a health cover or paying an unreasonable premium for a mediocre cover!
- A corporate medical insurance policy is not personalised to your family's long-term medical needs: An insurance cover is an extremely personal product that must be customised to your specific needs.
However, when a corporate policy is designed, it is done considering the budget limitations your company might allocate. As your company's HR tries to get the best possible deal for the employee group, at the least possible cost, you will end up with -
- A less than optimal cover, that won't provide adequate sum insured for all your family's health care expenses
- A 'one-size fits all' plan that won't be personalised to your needs and medical history.
Insurance company be like:
You will have no control over the policy terms, features, or future negotiations - and this is by far the most important reason why you cannot rely entirely on your company health insurance.
As an alternative, for all your family members, especially your parents you should get a personal health insurance cover - with an adequate sum assured, as well as features and benefits that are tailored to your medical history and health requirements.
How to use your company health insurance plan/program to your advantage.
There are only two specific situations in which it might be okay to take a corporate medical insurance plan.
- The company pays: When it is provided by your company, with no additional cost to you. In this case, enjoy it while it lasts. As far as possible, use the corporate cover (instead of your personal cover) so you retain all your sum assured plus earn no claim bonuses where applicable.
- To cover short-term hospitalisation expenses: When you buy a personal health insurance policy, there might be an initial window of time, where the insurer would not cover a list of diseases. Usually, the policy opens up and provides comprehensive cover gradually over 2-4 years. This period is called the waiting period - and it varies from insurer to insurer.
A corporate health insurance plan in India may not have any waiting period or exclusions on pre-existing diseases. This is a very common argument, why people prefer company health insurance. So, on case you have a family member who has a pre-existing disease - let's say your parents, and you are being offered a company health insurance plan with pre-existing cover from Day 0, leverage that plan for the short term financial risk, while you stay invested in a personal plan for the long and very long term needs.
We hope that you now understand the urgent need for you to invest into a personal health insurance policy, and not entirely rely on the plan provided by your company. Plus - the specific situations where you can use your company insurance to your advantage.
You might also like reading: How to avoid surprises in a health insurance claim process
If you have any further questions about how to pick the right health insurance policy for yourself and your family - do post them Beshak community forum. Our experts as well as other community members can help you get the right answers to all your insurance questions.
- A corporate health insurance plan might seem affordable, but you cannot customise it to fit your needs or have control over policy terms and negotiations.
- As soon as you leave the job, take a break or join another company your corporate insurance will stop covering you.
- A company health plan is controlled by strict budgets and is not customised to your family’s needs.
- It only makes sense to take a corporate health insurance plan if it is provided for free by your company, or you're going through a waiting period for some conditions on your personal health insurance plan.
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