The pandemic has been a unique experience for most of us. Two years of the pandemic has left us with many learnings, which have forced us to reset our priorities. Insurance is one such subject that is gaining awareness amongst young Indians. Unlike western countries, where the Insurance industry is very well-developed, India is at a nascent stage. As per IBEF, insurance penetration in India in 2021 is just at 4.2%. There is a huge scope for insurance players in India. The new age Insurtechs will be instrumental in strengthening insurance penetration in India.
Health insurance can be broadly classified into 7 types:
- Individual health insurance
- Family floater insurance
- Senior citizen health insurance
- Critical illness
- Specific illness
- Group health insurance
- Personal accident
An individual insurance policy is what you take directly from an insurer or one of the agents. Group insurance policy is offered by an employer in partnership with insurance companies for all its employees. Depending on the band of the employee, insurance value will vary, and so will the premium amount.
What does a group health insurance policy cover:
Most of us who work in the corporate sector are part of the group insurance policies. Our employers tie-up with insurance partners to provide health insurance benefits to all the employees. A group medical insurance policy generally differs from company to company based on the negotiations between the employer and the insurance partner. They are typically valid for 1 year and need to be renewed every year. Group insurance policies cover the individual, their spouses, and children. Many company policies also include coverage for parents at additional costs. Very few companies also extend the coverage to dependent siblings.
How to retain your group health insurance when you switch jobs:
Till the time you are part of the company, the group policy covers you and your listed family members. But switching jobs is one of the common phenomena in the corporate world. What happens to your group medical insurance when you switch jobs?
- Check the policy period:
Different companies have different policy periods, such as a financial year or calendar year, etc., based on the insurance partner. You need to find out the validity of your policy period. Group policies are usually valid for a year and need to be renewed every year. Depending on when you are moving out of the company, and the insurance policy period, your policy could be valid for anything between 2-12 months.
- Port your group medical insurance policy to an individual insurance policy with the same insurer:
As per Health Regulation Portability guidelines of 2016, a group insurance policy can be converted into an individual insurance policy. All people, including the individual and family members who are covered under group policies, can be migrated to an individual policy or family floater policy with the same insurer. Check with your existing insurance partner to convert your group health policy to an individual policy. Insurance players do offer this service, but they hold the right to change the policy terms. Mainly, group insurance policies work out cheaper for employees since they are offered in bulk. When you convert it to an individual policy, you might lose some of those benefits.
- Port your group medical insurance policy with another insurer
Insurance portability regulations permit the policyholder to port their group policy with their existing insurer to another insurer who could be from the new company. These are to be taken up by the employee at the time of leaving the company and on a case-to-case basis. This is left to the discretion of both insurers. There could be a waiting period applicable before the new policy kicks in. you should pay attention to the finer details in the policy.
Benefits of porting:
The obvious benefit of porting your insurance policy is optimising costs. Since you have already paid for your insurance, you would not want it to go to waste and can utilise the charges paid.
What can employees do:
When switching jobs, get your group medical insurance policy migrated, either with the same insurer or another insurer. This will help in utilising the insurance which you have already paid for. Employees should also consider enrolling under individual health insurance policies outside the ones offered by companies. The reason being, group medical policies are only available until you are working. When you stop working or take early retirement, insurance benefits are not available. Insurance can be bought at a lower price early on.
What can employers do:
Getting into negotiations with insurance partners and selecting the best plan which is attractive for your employees is a tedious process. With lots of innovation in insurtech, there are companies, like Plum Insurance, who help ease this process. You can find the best group health insurance plans and best insurance partners hassle-free and fast. Onboarding is faster, claims are faster, porting is easier. This can help you deliver a superior experience for your employees.