The group medical insurance cover from your company may not be enough, here's why

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The group medical insurance cover from your company is not enough
A lot of us now understand the importance of health insurance. Paying a small sum of money to be insured against a medical emergency, we agree, seems like a good idea. What's even better is that corporate culture today accommodates for employee health insurance in the form of a group plan. This means that as a part of the company, you are insured for a certain sum in case you need medical treatment. The question is, is this enough? If you are an optimistic and healthy person, you'll probably think yes. So let's look at another scenario. What happens if you leave this job? Is there a guarantee that your next employer will provide you (in your view) an equally good health cover?

Firstly, why we say that group medical insurance cover may not be enough is because of the sheer nature of a group insurance policy. If you are under such a cover, it means that the company pays a part of the premium while the balance premium amount has to be borne by you. Now such policies are quite standard in nature and do not provide the employee any flexibility to add any covers or amount. So, if you exhaust the cover limit for yourself, additional costs come out of your pocket.

Other than this, your company may or may not cover your family members as part of its medical policy. There are also several restrictions in terms of age and critical illnesses covered. Sticking only to the company medical policy also makes you vulnerable. Most companies do not cover the employee after retirement, so there's a good chance you‘re left in a situation where you can't afford a health cover at an age you may need it the most.

Now let's take the scenario when you switch jobs. There is no certainty that your new employer's medical policy will be as good as your previous one. Also, what about the situation when a medical emergency occurs when you are in between jobs? Even if we regard the low probability of the above scenarios, the biggest drawback of being covered only by your employer is that if you leave, you do not get benefits like cumulative bonus or life time renewal.

Insurance policy through employment is certainly not a bad thing. You're getting medical cover for a comparatively low amount and that is great. Also, if you are an employee you can be a part of a group insurance cover at a nominal cost and even with a pre-existing illness. No one denies the medical cover because of higher age or any past history. But, if you take all that we've discussed into account, you will agree that an insurance cover from your company alone may not be enough.

At this junction it might make sense for you to have your own medical policy over and above the one provided by your employee.

The benefits of having your own policy cannot be over-emphasized. An individual policy can be customized to suit your specific needs. You can cover your family if you go for a floater plan, avail the option of portability if you are not happy with the insurers, and use your cumulative bonus among other perks. Finally, know that the combined sum of your individual insurance policy and that given by your employer will suffice for most medical contingencies you may face.

Bottom line; do not solely rely on your company for medical insurance. Insurance is to protect yourself wellbeing and no one know how to do this better than you.

Author: Yashish Dahiya, CEO & co-founder,

Story first published: Saturday, September 27, 2014, 9:47 [IST]
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