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Corporate Employees – Don’t ignore health insurance

“Why do I need Health Insurance? I’m already covered by my employer.” This is the normal question asked by a corporate employee when he’s advised to take a separate Individual /floater health Insurance cover. But my reply to them is that every employee should be adequately covered by a separate mediclaim and one should never be dependent on employer provided group insurance cover as there are many reasons to it. Some factors are specific to employer and some to employees.

Don’t depend on your employer provided group insurance

  • The first and foremost thing that employee has to understand that by providing you with health insurance cover, employer is covering his liabilities but not your responsibilities. You need to understand that no employer will be there to cover you after your retirement.

  • Secondly, group insurance is getting expensive day by day. Due to cost cutting scenario in every company, these days management wants employees to share the burden of expenses. Gone are the days when you and your family members are 100% covered under group policies. Employers are compromising on the benefits to reduce their cost. These days you strictly have to go through the details of your insurance coverage and find out what is covered and what not. What else? Sometimes, you may be asked to pay extra to get comprehensive coverage and adding parents into your Group Policy. Benefits are getting reduced, members are getting excused.

  • This cost cutting campaign going on in corporate may sometimes lead to Job losses. These days I’ve seen many reputed brands in the industry going through this phase and are on retrenchment spree. Even CEOs, GM etc. are not immune to job losses. Just imagine the state of your finances if you suddenly get a pink slip and during the phase of finding new job you or any of your family members gets into some severe health problem or any accident.

  • Due to hectic job schedule and increasing work pressure in jobs, employees are more prone to health problems. Unbalanced diet and sedentary lifestyle make the things worse. These days many people are getting diagnosed with heart problems at very young age. Migraine, hypertension etc. and other lifestyle diseases are very common.  Please be informed that once a person gets diagnosed with any illness it may become difficult for him to get comprehensive health coverage. Even if the case gets accepted the pre existing illness may get excluded or the insured may get loaded with extra premium for the illness.

  • Sometimes under job pressure or unsatisfied job environment employee resigns from the job. If it was planned and he’s serve notice period, then he may plan on his finances but what if it is unplanned?

  • With increasing medical costs, it has been observed that in critical cases the group cover proves to be insufficient and finally employee has to shell out huge amount out of his pocket.

What should an employee do?

  • Buy a separate comprehensive mediclaim for self, family and parents. The coverage depends on the city you live in. For metros to start with it should always be at least Rs 5 lakh and for non metros you may go with up to Rs 3 lakh.

  • If you are planning to leave your current job and are going to serve the notice period of 2 or more months, then you may ask your group insurer to provide you with individual policy. This will help you in continuation of the some benefits related to pre existing illnesses, first/second year exclusions and waiting periods, which is there in all mediclaim policies.

All the above examples and scenarios are very practical though uncertain. No one wants to get into that phase but sometimes you can’t avoid it also. So it is always better to keep your finances in order and the first step to manage the uncertainty is to keep yourself adequately insured on all fronts, be it life, health and accident. Health insurance is the most ignored among corporate employees. But it always better to Plan then to repent later.

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