Key differences between Group Health Insurance and Individual Health Insurance that you need to know

Healthcare complications can occur to anyone at any point in time. With today’s changing lifestyle trends and the increasing rate of the occurrence of critical illnesses, people require a shield in the form of health insurance for medical emergencies. While buying this type of insurance, an individual usually has to go through a health check-up as a pre-requisite. At this stage, people often wonder if medical check-ups needed to buy health insurance can be avoided. 

Fortunately, there is a provision to get health insurance without going through the mandatory check-ups. However, this applies to a product called group health insurance, which is slightly different from individual health insurance. 

It is important to clarify that the two products mentioned above, i.e. Individual Health Insurance and Group Health Insurance are different in several key ways. People often aren’t aware of the differences.  Group health policies differ from even the best individual policies in terms of benefits, price, and usability. If you, as an employer, are planning to provide healthcare benefits to all your employees, a group insurance policy is usually what you need. 

Let’s dig deeper to find out more about group health insurance and how it differs from Individual Health Insurance.

What Does Group Health Insurance Cover?

As its name suggests, this type of health insurance policy has been formulated to offer healthcare coverage to a group of people, not only to an individual or family. As per the guidelines of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) in India, these groups are based on relationships such as employer and employee, bank and bank account holders, cultural association and its members, or residential society and its members, to name a few.  

Unlike individual health insurance where the insured usually buy the policy themselves, in a group health policy the head, leading entity, or authority figure of the group buys insurance to cover the rest of the members. For instance, in the case of an employee-employer group, the employer buys this policy for all the employees. Some of the best group health insurance policies in India for employers provide coverage to the employees, their spouse, dependent parents, and children. However, these coverage benefits may vary from one insurer to another and are also open to the choices selected by the insured.

It’s important to understand that it is not mandatory for all employers to offer group health coverage. An employee can enjoy its benefits only if his or her employer offers it. 

What Makes Group Health Insurance Different from Individual Health Insurance?

  • Coverage 

As detailed above, a group health insurance plan is one plan that offers medical coverage to several people who are members of a specific group. On the other hand, individual health insurance covers one individual only, or at best the family of the individual, again based on the choice made when buying the policy.

  • Renewal Date

If you’ve opted for different individual health insurance policies that cover several people then each policy needs a timely renewal on or before its expiry date, which can be different for the different people covered. However, a group plan that includes a specific number of individuals has a single renewal date. Thus, there is no need to worry about remembering several different dates for policy renewals if you are managing group policy.

  • Pre-Existing Disease Coverage

While buying an individual health insurance plan, you need to get your health diagnosed with prior medical checks and also check or declare for pre-existing diseases. Depending on health test reports, an application to buy the plan may get rejected if you are diagnosed with a critical illness. Certain pre-existing diseases may not be covered for the initial two to four years of an individual policy.  However, the same is not true for group health insurance. Every individual of the group who is covered in the policy gets medical coverage even despite pre-existing conditions. 

  • Cost

As compared to individual health insurance, group health plans are comparatively lower in cost. This is also what makes a group plan advantageous for an employer.

The Bottom Line

There are several insurance products offered by renowned insurance companies in India. A group plan and an individual plan are just two types of them, and they are quite different in terms of features and benefits. You are advised to buy a specific insurance plan after considering its inclusions and exclusions and comparing it with your needs. We at SecureNow offer group health insurance from all renowned insurers in India with better benefits made available for you at the best prices. You can explore these plans here. We can help you buy the best plan that fits your needs.

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