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How to select right group health insurance policy for your employees? - CNBCTV18

Group health insurance is vital, however, it took a pandemic to truly highlight its importance. The recurring waves and new strains, combined with skyrocketing medical bills, highlighted the importance of health insurance like never before.

Not only did individual plans become more popular during this time period, but more people recognised the importance of group health insurance as the most efficient and cost-effective way of securing their future in the face of unforeseen circumstances.

As we prepare to face another potential crisis, here are a few things employers should consider before selecting a group health insurance plan for employees:

Customised employee needs

Given the nature and size of the company, group insurance requirements may differ from one employee to the next, said Raghuveer Malik, Head- Corporate Insurance at Policybazaar.com.

“So, it is critical to select a plan that is tailored to one’s organization's specific requirements. Employers must determine whether they want to give more weight to components such as personal accident insurance, maternity benefits, or critical illness insurance based on their employees' demographics and needs,” Malik said.

Wellness benefits

Employers should select a plan that includes wellness programmes to assist employees during these trying times such as COVID-19. These programmes are intended to keep employees fit and healthy by using apps to track their physical activity, sleep cycle, and water intake and rewarding them with points or incentives. These apps can also be used to share self-care advice. Corporate plans may also include discounted gym memberships or yoga classes, Malik said.

Preventive health check-ups and online consultations

Employers should make annual check-ups a part of their company's wellness strategy. Online consultations, in keeping with the times, will further allow people to reach out to a medical expert without the risk of being exposed, Malik suggested.

Wider network of hospitals

Employers should consider including a broader range of network hospitals in the strategy. Corporate insurance, as is well known, provides two types of plans: cashless and reimbursement. If the employee's choice of hospital falls within the scope of network hospitals, they are eligible for a cashless claim. If not, they must bear the costs themselves and then file a claim for reimbursement.

Because a medical emergency is unpredictable during these times, Malik said that the hospital of choice may not always be in employees control.

"Furthermore, it may not always be possible to arrange for large bills on own. As a result, it is best to select a plan for employees that includes the greatest number of network hospitals," Malik added.

Avoid sub-limits and co-payments

There are several plans that limit the sum insured, as well as other things like room rent or the type of procedure performed during hospitalisation, which is known as a sub-limit. Some policies, on the other hand, require the policyholder to pay a certain percentage of hospital bills as part of the co-payment clause. So, before finalising a plan for employees, employers should check for these clauses and go for policies that do not have these restrictions, Malik said.

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