Many companies offer medical insurance to their employees under a group health insurance plan. This coverage can prove to be one of the biggest perks of working for an organisation. Most people who are just starting out in their careers do not actually have health insurance of their own. This company-given coverage ensures that an individual comes under the protective fold of health insurance as soon as possible.
In India, many companies also allow an employee to include their immediate family members for health insurance coverage. This benefit generally extends to the spouse, dependent children, and parents. Note that the employee may have to pay additionally for this coverage out of their own pocket.
Now, most people do include their spouse and children in their employer-given health insurance policy. However, when it comes to senior parents, many also wonder whether they should be included in a group health insurance policy or if they would benefit from a private / individual plan of their own. There is no clear answer that can be provided in black and white to this question as the choice really depends on many things. In this article, we will examine the situation from different angles so that you can arrive at the correct choice for your needs. Let’s take a look.
Benefits of including your parents in group health insurance
A group health insurance plan generally offers coverage for pre-existing conditions right from the get-go; there is no waiting period unlike with private health insurance. This can be a huge benefit as we know that old age is generally marked by many health complications, such as diabetes and heart disease. Moreover, your parents also might not need to go for any medical check-up before being covered in the group insurance plan. Finally, there is the monetary benefit – you would pay a significantly lower amount for coverage for dependent parents in a group health insurance plan as opposed to buying them individual coverage.
Looking at the flip side
Before signing up your parents for coverage under your group health insurance plan, there are certain drawbacks too that you should be aware of. To begin with, as just one of the many individuals covered in the group, you would have very little control on customizing the coverage as per your needs. Furthermore, there may be many sub-limits to the coverage that might see you make heavy out-of-pocket expenses for your parents in case they get hospitalised. Also, you must keep in mind that your parents will only enjoy coverage as long as you work for your current organisation; when you change jobs, they will lose their coverage and remain uninsured for a while. If your new employer does not give you the benefit of group health insurance, you may then have to look into buying a policy for your parents at a later age which can result in costlier premiums.
As stated in the beginning of this article, there is no real right or wrong choice when deciding whether or not to include your parents in your company’s group health insurance plan. The decision will depend on various factors. If your parents do not already have any kind of health insurance yet, this group health insurance policy will be a great start to ensure that they have some form of coverage. You could then save up money to also buy your parents their own individual health insurance plans. Being covered in a group health insurance plan might make sense for senior parents who do not have any major health complications. However, if your parents have known health issues, private medical insurance might offer more comprehensive coverage.
Hope that this article will help you take the right decision on the health insurance coverage that you need for your parents.