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Including Parents in Employer’s Insurance: The Pros & Cons

Team AckoJul 22, 2021

Group Health Insurance is a health insurance plan offered by an organisation to its employees. The medical coverage is provided as an added benefit to the employee, and the coverage of the policy remains the same across the organisation. The GMC (Group Medical Coverage)  plan provides extended coverage as an employee can include his/her spouse, children, and in some cases, even parents. So, what are the benefits of including parents in an employer's health insurance scheme? Read on to find out the answer.

Including Parents in Employer’s Group Health Insurance

Benefits of Including Parents in Employer’s Group Health Insurance:

Group medical insurance for employees comes with a host of benefits, and one of the advantages of the plan is adding family members to the policy. Yes, a group mediclaim policy allows you to add your spouse, children and even parents to the same plan. Some organisations offer coverage for parents for free, and some employers offer the coverage at an additional premium. Your parents are more vulnerable to illnesses due to their age. And with the rising healthcare costs, it makes sense to add your parents to your employee health insurance plan.

Below are the benefits of including parents in the Employee Group Health Insurance Plan:

  • No Pre-Medical Check-up: There is no pre-policy medical check-up in the Group Health Insurance Plan. That means you and your dependents, including your parents, need not undergo a medical check-up to be insured under the employer’s health insurance scheme. You and your dependents get hassle-free coverage from day one.

  • Lower Premium: The premium for a Group Mediclaim Policy is lower when compared to an individual health insurance plan. So, you have to pay a lower premium if you are including parents in the employer's GMC plan. Your parents will get medical coverage at an affordable premium as opposed to expensive individual health insurance plans.

  • No Need to Wait: In a Group Medical Insurance Plan, there is no concept of the waiting period. Employees and his/her dependents, including parents, are covered from day one by the group medical coverage policy. In some cases, companies also offer maternity coverage for female employees without any waiting period.

  • Coverage against Pre-Existing Diseases: The no waiting period benefit also extends to pre-existing diseases in a Group Medical Cover Policy. In case your parents have any pre-existing illnesses such as heart ailment, diabetes, etc., such pre-existing conditions are covered from day one. Your parents can undergo treatment and avail claim against the GMC plan.

  • Top-Up or Super Top-Up Feature: Generally, a Group Medical Insurance Plan offers coverage for a small amount. That means the total sum assured is just about adequate for your healthcare needs. But the top-up feature allows you to increase the sum assured amount by paying an additional premium. In case the claim amount exceeds the total assured amount, the top-up or super top-up benefit covers you against the additional claim amount.

Disadvantages Of Inclusion Of Parents In Group Health Insurance:

An Employer Group Health Insurance Plan comes with a host of benefits, but at the same time, it also has some limitations. Below are some of the limitations/disadvantages that you have to keep in mind before including your parents in your employer-offered Group Medical Cover Insurance Plan:

  • Coverage Provided on Employer’s Discretion: The Group Mediclaim Insurance Plan is provided by an organisation to its employees and their dependents. The continuity of the coverage depends on your employer’s discretion. The employer may choose to discontinue the plan or lower the coverage benefits of the policy. They may also remove the benefit of adding your parents to the policy. So, as an employee, you cannot rely on the GMC plan.

  • Termination of Policy due to Change of Job: You are eligible for a Group Health Insurance Policy as soon as you join an organisation. Similarly, the coverage of the Employee Group Medical Insurance Plan ends when you leave the organisation. The GMC plan provides coverage to only current employees. So until you are covered by a new Group Insurance Medical Plan, you are left with no medical coverage.

  • Limited Coverage and High Frequency of Claims: With the healthcare costs skyrocketing, the coverage offered by a Group Medical Cover Policy is not sufficient. And with the inclusion of parents, the claims could be high, given the health complications of older people. If you make multiple claims in a year, other family members are left with a lower sum assured unless you pay an additional premium for features such as top-up or super top-up.

  • Increased Premium: The premium of a Group Medical Insurance Plan is determined based on the average age of the employees in an organisation. If the average age of the group is higher, you may have to pay a higher premium. So, the overall cost of the Group Health Insurance Plan goes up with the inclusion of parents.

Characteristics of a Good Health Insurance for your Parents:

Now, you know the pros and cons of including your parents in a Group Medical Insurance Plan. The next obvious question would be, what makes a health insurance plan good or bad? To understand this, let’s take a look at the characteristics of a good health insurance plan for your parents/senior citizens:

  • Higher Entry Age and Period of Coverage: You can find several options when buying a health insurance policy. But as the age of a person increases, the options become limited due to the higher risks involved in insuring an older person. When buying health insurance for your parents, always look for an insurance plan which has a higher age of entry. Also, check the renewability options so that you can extend the term of the health insurance policy to provide lifetime coverage.

  • Pre-Policy Medical Check-up: While buying a health insurance policy, the policyholder is required to undergo a medical check-up. The medical check-up determines the current health condition of a person and also determines the probability of future medical complications. So, a pre-medical check-up could be a problem when buying health insurance for your parents.

  • Regular Health Checkups: Most health insurance plans offer the benefit of regular health checkups. You can avail free medical checkups at network hospitals. However, there are several terms and conditions to avail of the benefit, depending on the type of health insurance plan. Opt for an insurance plan that has a simple process to avail of such benefits.

  • Waiting Period for Pre-Existing Diseases: A health insurance plan comes with a waiting period for pre-existing illnesses. Within that pre-specified waiting period, you cannot raise a claim against the pre-existing conditions. So, the shorter the waiting period, the better the health insurance plan is.

  • Critical Illness Coverage: Good health insurance provides coverage against major critical illnesses such as cancer, heart attack, organ transplant, kidney failure, etc. A good health insurance policy will cover more life-threatening diseases. The policy should also have simple terms and conditions to avail benefits of the Critical Illness cover and to file a claim against the same.

Conclusion:

Now you are well-versed about the pros and cons of including your parents in the Group Health Insurance Scheme. You also know the characteristics of good health insurance for your parents

Now, coming to the heart of the matter, should you include your parents in your Group Medical Cover Plan? The answer is a big YES. Your parents are at a higher risk of developing illnesses due to their age. They require more medical attention, including regular health check-ups. And with the rising healthcare costs, adding your parents to the GMC plan is the best option to avail medical coverage for your parents. Because you will pay a lower premium for a group health insurance policy when compared to an individual plan.

Other benefits such as no waiting period and coverage of pre-existing diseases make the Group Mediclaim Policy the best option for your parents. You also have the flexibility to increase the sum assured if you need enhanced coverage. All-in-all, Employer Health Insurance is a good insurance plan for your parents if you cannot afford an individual health insurance plan.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Below are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about including your parents in employer-provides Group Medical Coverage Insurance Policy:

1. Can I include my parents in my employee health insurance plan?

Yes. You can include your parents in your Employee Health Insurance Plan. But the benefits of the policy may vary depending on the organisation. Some organisations offer Group Medical Cover for parents for free, while some organisations might charge you an additional premium. Since the Group Mediclaim Policy is a highly customisable plan, the benefits and coverage differ from one organisation to another. You can check with your organisation/HR regarding the same.

2. Who qualifies as a dependent of an employee in a Group Health Insurance Scheme?

Spouse, two children and parents qualify as dependents of an employee in a Group Medical Insurance for Employees. Since the GMC plan is customisable, some employers may cover parents for free, whereas some employers might charge an additional premium for the inclusion of parents in your Group Mediclaim Policy.

3. I have included my parents in my Group Medical Coverage Policy. Does it cover critical illnesses?

The benefits of the Group Mediclaim or the GMC plan vary from one organisation to another. The GMC health insurance plan is highly customisable, and an employer can tailor the plan as per their financial condition and needs. So, if an employer opts for a critical illness cover for the Group Health Insurance Plan, the employee can raise a claim against the treatment of critical illnesses.

4. Is there any pre-medical check-up if I want to include my parents in Group Employee Health Insurance Policy?

No. There is no pre-medical check-up for an employee and the dependents of the employee, including parents. The coverage of the Group Mediclaim Policy starts from day one, and there is no concept of a waiting period.

5. Can I increase the total sum assured if I add my parents to the Group Medical Insurance Plan?

Yes, you can increase the total sum assured of the group insurance policy, provided the employer provides the top-up or super top-up option. But note that you might have to pay an additional premium for enhancing the coverage of the policy.

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