Most employers in India offer group medical insurance policies to their employees as an added benefit. While such policies provide enough support for employees and their families, covering your elderly parents only with group plans could prove disastrous in the event of a health emergency.
In an email interaction with FE PF Desk, Vivek Chaturvedi, Director of Marketing and Head of Direct Sales at Digit Insurance, explained why covering parents only under group policies may not be enough. Extracts
Why do you think covering parents only under GMC is not enough?
A collective medical cover (GMC) covers the employee and his dependents such as the spouse and the children and in certain cases, the parents are also covered. The employee can choose whether or not to include their parents in the coverage.
It is well known that the medical costs for the elderly are relatively higher and therefore require a higher sum insured. Covering your parents under the employer-sponsored GMC plan can provide an additional financial cushion. However, betting on a GMC font alone is never enough. It is important to purchase retail health coverage in addition to the group policy offered by your employer.
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GMC comes with a fixed sum insured, which may be low compared to what you would choose under retail health coverage. Also, if you want to change jobs or take a sabbatical, GMC coverage would end, leaving you and your parents without a safety net. While it’s true that covering your parents under GMC may not require any health checks, the premium itself can be quite high if you want to add them to the policy.
Also, since older people are more prone to illnesses, multiple claims during the policy year could leave other family members with little sum insured. It is therefore advisable to take out a separate policy for your parents in addition to the one offered by your employer.
What are the benefits of including parents in GMC?
The medical cover of the Unger group, neither you nor your dependents must submit to a prior medical examination. Therefore, you and your family members are covered instantly, with no hassle or paperwork.
Unlike retail health insurance, most GMC policies have no waiting period, giving you and your dependents instant coverage from inception of the policy.
If your parents have pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes or other illnesses that do not require serious medical attention, then they can seek treatment and file a claim under GMC cover as it covers treatment illnesses from day one.
What are the downsides of having GMC only for parents?
While it’s easy to get GMC coverage for you and your family, whether it continues depends on your employer’s preferences. If your employer decides to reduce coverage benefits, discontinue the policy, or remove the benefit of including your parents in the policy, this could affect overall medical coverage. This makes GMC less reliable when it comes to covering health insurance needs for you and your parents.
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If you decide to change jobs or take a sabbatical, the GMC plan offered by your employer will end as soon as you leave the organization. This basically means that you and your family are left on their own without medical coverage during the transition period.
It is important to note that most companies cover spouses and children only with the employee. Coverage for parents, however, might have an additional cost. Instead of covering your parents under group coverage, directing the same premium to a retail plan would work better. That said, if buying a retail policy isn’t an option due to age or health issues, including them in the GMC plan is the best you can do.
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