Team AckoJul 22, 2021
The cost of healthcare is on the rise, and it is the primary reason why health insurance is an absolute need for you and your family. Health coverage, especially during the period between changing jobs is crucial since you need health insurance to protect yourself against unforeseen medical emergencies. When the time has come to change jobs, it is essential to understand various options regarding your health insurance coverage. Here are a few tips for making sure you and your family are covered with health insurance when changing jobs.
As an employee, you may be covered by the employer health insurance (also known as Group Mediclaim Policy or Group Health Insurance Policy), but what happens if the health insurance for employees does not provide coverage after leaving or quitting the job?
Having health insurance when you are changing jobs or when you have been laid off, or when you are becoming self-employed will help protect you when you need medical care, especially during emergencies. Without health insurance cover for you and your family, you may have to pay from your pocket, and you may easily go bankrupt depending on the severity of the medical emergency. So, what can you do to cover a gap in your health insurance coverage? Thankfully, you have a few options.
Typically, the Group Insurance Scheme provided by your employer ends on the last working day of the employee. However, some companies in the country provide group insurance coverage for employees and pay the premium in full or partially. However, can the group insurance cover be transferred or converted to an individual health insurance policy in case you want to change jobs, or you have been laid off?
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) states that an employee can convert the group cover to an individual health insurance plan with the same insurance company after completing the required formalities.
That being said, the insurance provider has the full right to decide on the terms and conditions of the new policy. This option of switching from group insurance to individual insurance is offered only by a few insurance companies and employers. Hence, you need to check with your employer if there is an option to remain with the same insurer, except that it will be converted to an individual insurance plan.
You may have to pay an extra premium and may have to provide a medical certificate to change over from group to individual health insurance. Please note that this process is not mandatory, and it is the insurance company’s decision to offer the conversion or not.
There can be two situations. First, you can switch the Group Health Insurance to Individual Insurance. Second, you can buy private health insurance for you and your family. Here are some questions to ask before you quit the current job for a new opportunity:
Do you have a personal health insurance plan apart from the group insurance provided by the current employer?
Does the current group insurance plan provide coverage when you are no longer employed with the respective employer?
Is your personal health insurance policy coverage sufficient enough to cover you and your family during medical emergencies?
Will a short-term or long-term health insurance plan help during the period of unemployment?
Can you be covered under your spouse’s health insurance plan?
Before you consider moving to a new job, be sure you ask yourself the following questions:
Apart from the salary, what are other financial implications?
What options do you have to cover healthcare expenses?
Is my family protected if something happens to me when changing jobs?
Before you quit your current job, ensure that you consider the following points:
Find out if the current employer health insurance can be converted to an individual or personal health insurance.
Find out if the new employer’s health insurance plan offers a mix of deductibles, coinsurance and copay so that you can upgrade or continue with the existing personal health insurance policy.
Find out if the new employer’s GMC requires a mandatory waiting period. If you do not want a waiting period, check if your existing personal health insurance has a continuation of health insurance, or you can opt for a short-term plan to close the gap between jobs.
Compare the current and the new group health insurance plan offered by the new employer.
Having you and your family covered under the personal Family Health Insurance Policy is important and necessary. But, situations can be different. You may want to take a break before you join the new job, or you are yet to find a new job. The gap between the old and new can be stressful especially in the case of medical emergencies. What can you do to cover the gap in your health insurance plan after you change jobs? Here is how you can cover the gap:
If you currently have personal health insurance, ensure that you find out when it expires. If it is expiring during the gap, renew the plan to continue to the coverage. As for the current employer health insurance plan, the date may vary depending on the insurer. Verify the details with your HR team to find out how your employer’s health insurance works.
After learning about when your existing health insurance policy expires, you will know the timeframe required to cover your health insurance gap. There are short-term and permanent health insurance plans; however, you need to find a plan which suits your needs. These plans can be exclusive in nature since they offer specific coverage. Hence, choose the right plan as per your requirements.
In all your major decisions, you need to compare all the plans currently available in the market and how it can provide you with the right coverage. Each type of plan can vary greatly in price and the coverage. Ensure that you completely understand the plans before you make the decision.
Like all major decisions in life, health coverage for you and your family during medical emergencies or planned hospitalisations is absolutely necessary. You need to have a Health Insurance Plan so that you have a shield against unforeseen medical bills. Consider buying a personal or private health insurance plan along with the employer group plan to stay protected at all times. But, before you do that, ensure that you compare all options in the market to make an informed decision.
Here are the frequently asked questions about health insurance during job change:
Is health insurance necessary in between a job change?
Medical care coverage is necessary, especially during the gap while switching jobs. Medical emergencies can be a financial blow to your savings and the health insurance for you and your family is key to protect you against financial implications.
For how long is the employer health insurance valid after quitting the job?
You have to check with your HR about the validity of the Group Medical Insurance provided by your employer. It can vary depending on the type of the insurer and the terms and conditions.
What happens to the company health insurance when I am laid off?
The expiry date of the corporate health insurance policy when you quit the job depends on the insurance company and your employer, who may decide to continue or cancel the employee health scheme.
Can I continue the group mediclaim policy provided by my employer after I quit the job?
The IRDAI has approved insurers to transfer the group health insurance to individual health insurance. However, this is as per the discretion of the insurance company, and it is not mandatory. You can check with your HR department if there is an option to convert the insurance for employees to private individual health insurance.
Does the employee health insurance offered by my employer end the day I quit the job?
You need to check with your HR team to understand the options you have with regard to the employee health insurance. It can either end the day you quit or it can end at the end of the month you quit, or it can be extended due to a lay-off. But, this is decided by the insurance company and your employer.
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