THE most effective way of securing yourself and your loved ones is by getting health insurance cover. Such covers vary from personal to group plans. If you are a salaried individual, you are more likely to have a group health insurance coverage provided by your employer. But is it enough to take care of you and your loved ones’ health for a lifetime?
The features of group health insurance plans are usually decided by the employer. They are packaged keeping in mind the interest of a pool of people. Alternatively, individual health insurance plans are those an individual buys for himself and his family members. Here are a few reasons why you should seek a personal health cover beyond the one provided by your employer:
Customise as per needs
In case of a personal cover, you have full freedom to decide the terms of the policy and customise it as per your needs. This type of policy can be purchased by a single person for himself and for his family. You have the flexibility to choose the sum assured and add-ons as per your needs.
Policy is portable
In individual health plans, you can port your policy from one insurer to other. If you choose to switch from one plan to another or from one insurer to another, you don’t have to worry about losing collected benefits from the previous policy. You can also carry forward the benefits of waiting period of coverage. In most cases, the group health insurance coverage is not portable, and if you move from the company to another or leave it to start your own business, you would not be able to take the health insurance cover with you. Even if you are provided the option to carry forward the policy, it’s likely to offer you limited features and might not cover your requirement fully.
Cover your dependants
In many cases, employers provide health insurance cover for dependents like spouse and kids. However, there might be a limitation to the number of people that shall be covered under the plan and who all dependents can be covered, plus how much sum assured shall be there for them in whole and individually. As such, you are more likely to leave your dependents under insured or uninsured, if you are not opting for a personal health cover to adequately protect them.
Plan for retirement
Even if your employer has a sound social security plan, it’s unlikely that it will provide you cover after you retire. In such a situation, you would be left with either no insurance or you would need to buy a health cover at a much higher price. Therefore, when you reach the retirement age, your personal health cover is the one that you would be able to fall back on. You must invest in a higher amount health cover keeping in mind inflation and rising medical costs to enjoy your sunset years without worrying about illness and disease.
There are many other reasons for not completely relying on your employer health cover, but the most important one is that it’s not tailormade to your requirement. A health insurance bought at a younger age doesn’t require a medical test and you can even enhance the cover at major time intervals.
The writer is co-founder and CEO, PolicyBazaar.com