Is It Good To Include Your Parents In Employer’s Group Health Insurance Plan?

Nearly 500 million Indians were covered with a health insurance plan in FY20. Similarly, as per a recent survey among working youths in India, almost 39% of the full-time employees were guarded with a group health insurance policy from their employers. 

One of the major benefits of this insurance plan is that it covers the employees’ family as well, depending on the plan chosen. In some cases, employees can include their parents in the insurance policy either for free or by paying a nominal premium. An employer primarily purchases such policies to improve employee retention and provide them with the required financial backing during medical emergencies. 

Besides, an employer’s group health insurance policy also accompanies a host of benefits that individuals need to know. 

Benefits of including parents in a group medical insurance policy 

  • Affordable premium 

Typically, the premium of a group/employee insurance plan is cheaper than an individual insurance plan. Therefore, if you opt to include your parents in this policy, either your employer will pay the premium, or you have to pay a minimal amount for it. 

However, in this case, there can be some exemptions or cap on the claim amount. 

  • No health check-up required 

Most group health insurance policies do not mandate a pre-policy health check-up. It works in favour of elderly parents who already have existing minor or chronic illnesses. It financially covers them, irrespective of their current health condition. 

  • No waiting period 

Another perk of including parents in health insurance for employees/group is that you do not have to wait for a specific period to claim the sum insured. Insured members can raise a claim as soon as they are enrolled in this plan. 

  • Covers pre-existing medical conditions 

This group health insurance plan proves to be beneficial, especially for elderly parents who already have pre-existing diseases like diabetes. It allows you to claim the sum assured without any obligations or stringent health check-ups. However, this facility varies from insurer to insurer. 

  • Top-up benefits 

Unlike an individual health insurance policy, the coverage of a group health plan is limited. However, individuals can opt for top-up plans to increase their coverage or to make them more customised. 

However, it is possible only at the insurer and employer’s discretion. Insurance aggregators provide health insurance plans for groups with various add-ons like maternity cover and pre-existing health insurance cover against an affordable premium.

Considering the facilities, employers can buy group health insurance plans without a second thought. However, on the employee’s part, when it comes to their parents’, they can opt for exclusive and customised health policies like senior citizen health insurance plans, family floater health insurance policies, etc., that entail better coverage. 

Features and benefits of senior citizen health insurance plan 

In case you have elderly parents, you can purchase a senior citizen health insurance plan as an alternative to a group insurance plan. Some of the reasons to avail this separate cover are listed below –  

  • Cashless treatment at network hospitals 

Top insurance policies for citizens above 60 years of age facilitate cashless treatment at network hospitals. However, in that case, the insured individual needs to follow the applicable terms and conditions. For instance, the insured person needs to be hospitalised for at least 24 hours to claim the sum assured. 

  • No Claim Bonus 

Unlike a group health insurance plan, individuals are eligible for a No Claim Bonus while choosing a customised plan for senior citizen/parents. It allows individuals to avail special discounts for the premium after a no-claim year. Otherwise, an insurer can also increase the sum assured as a reward. 

  • Lifetime renewal 

Health insurance for senior citizens also allows them to renew the plan for a lifetime with an option to increase the sum assured after a certain interval. 

  • Pays for pre and post hospitalisation expenses 

Pre and post hospitalisation charges can make a dent in your pocket sometimes. However, if you choose this plan, the insurer will take care of the expenses for a pre-decided period. 

  • Tax benefits 

Insured individuals can claim tax exemptions under Section 80D by opting for this plan. It allows senior citizens to save further on tax payable. 

  • Covers ancillary medical expenses 

A senior citizen health insurance plan also covers additional medical expenses like ambulance charges, ICU charges, medicines, bed/room charges, consumables, daycare charges and similar ones. 

Hence, group health insurance is an extremely helpful product, which employers can offer to secure the financial health of employees. Nonetheless, to continue availing benefits of health insurance for parents, individuals should consider some alternatives like senior citizen health insurance plans that come in handy in various scenarios.