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News & Views


Wednesday, Dec 30, 2015

Individual health insurance: A must buy over group policy?

   [Source : moneycontrol]

Though group policies offer health insurance to individuals employed with certain employers, there are reasons why one should buy a policy for himself and his family.

Prakash was feeling relieved and at the same time a bit tense to go his office for the last day before his superannuation. He came back little tired, full of excitement and a heavy heart that he wouldn't be going to office from next morning. During wee hours of next morning he felt uneasiness and was taken to hospital. They found nothing major but a blockage in heart which was immediately taken care of but set him back by a few lakh rupees. He was shocked to find that his employer no more covers him under their medical insurance policy and he doesn't have a policy either!

This is the most common scenario today. Many have realised this after a minor health scare and having to take care of the same from their retirement fund. Most also feel that they are healthy and have enough saving to take care of such emergency forgetting the fact that the treatment can be prolonged. It is always suggested to have your own health insurance or mediclaim policy over and above any policy that may cover you during your employment or covers you for a lesser sum after retirement to ensure that you will never have to dive into your life time saving for any major ailment.

It is important to note that most of the organisations extend employee benefit programme like health insurance as retention tool and also as a social security measure. The amount of insurance depends on the employees seniority, scale and salary. The same may stand discontinued or for a lesser amount after retirement.

Any medical insurance availed at a younger age don't attract medical test and the same can be enhanced from time to time depending on one's age and medical inflation. Present generation where the burn out factor is fast and the frequency of life style disease is rampant, it is always good to start at the very beginning and buy your own policy. Youngsters of today avail first chance to cover parents under their own policy extended by the organisation which is usually a floater policy thereby leaving scope to struggle in case there are multiple claim in one year in the family. It is also relevant to remember that many individuals change job regularly and settle quite late in their career. Unfortunately, they ignore the transition between two jobs and also forget that some employer may offer coverage only after confirmation/probation. Please do refer to the chart below this article (not exhaustive) which will give you some insight as to why you should have your own policy over and above group policy of the organisation where you are working.

Today, any medical condition is expensive and there are choices available even to go for better treatment and costly devices which one may need depending on health condition. Rapid research and headway in medicine call for higher coverage than ever before. Indian market presently offers even Rs 1 crore cover in health insurance products. Do consult your advisor, intermediary and go through offer document before you take a judicious decision.

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