Group health insurance plans have gained popularity amongst small-and-medium-scale (SME) businesses in India as larger companies can easily attract and retain valuable talent by offering such incentives. Hence most SMEs are under pressure to offer superior remuneration and benefits including insurance, to retain their employees as much as possible. Also as SMEs hire fresh talent on whom they spend a substantial amount of their time and resources for training; they prefer not losing this talent to the bigger fish.
Besides this with hospitalisation costs skyrocketing health insurance has become a necessity; and a must for all individuals. It is very risky for employees to not have proper insurance coverage due to which their savings could completely be wiped out or they could even get into debt with just one long illness. By getting group health insurance plans entrepreneurs not only offer benefits to their employees; but also encourage them to get financial cover and balance their risk which they otherwise might have taken lightly.
What is Group health insurance cover?
Before understanding how it benefits SMEs, it is a good idea to understand what exactly is group health insurance. As the name suggests, this is simply insurance taken for a group of people which could be a family, or a group working in an organization and so on. It generally covers a group of 50-100 people and is beneficial to the insurance company (due to the high number of applicants in one group) and also for the person insured. The policy in India works under specific terms & conditions which are applicable to the entire group insured. Sometimes the policy also covers pre existing diseases from the first day; while in other cases it provides the cover after a specific waiting period has passed.
How Group Health Insurance can benefit SMEs?
Improved healthcare equates to more healthy, energetic staff
Generally if your employees know that they have health coverage then they are more confident that they can take care of their medical bills in case of any ailment. Hence they don’t shy away from getting minor check-ups and tests done on time as they know they are prepared to handle the medical expenses if at all they have any sort of ailment. Also this encourages them to take timely preventive healthcare measures hence making them avoid any future serious ailments down the road. Good health of employees will eventually make them more energetic, more likely to take on enough work and also more easily meet deadlines.
Lesser worry improves the performance of staff
Having health insurance implies that the employee is well protected against ailments and does not have to worry about how to pay the bill in case of any serious illness. This makes the cost of healthcare services manageable and also keeps away any unnecessary and burdensome debts arising from major illnesses or injuries. It has often been seen that employees, who were star performersif once burdened with worries and financial debt can become completely negative towards their work, being constantly disturbed. Hence getting timely health insurance can help you from not only losing the valuable talent of an excellent employee but also maintaining performance of the staff.
Tax benefits for your business
If you are incurring expenses of getting health insurance for the employees of your company; remember that companies get tax advantages for offering insurance policies. Hence you benefit by making your employees financially more secure in case of health issues; and also through the tax breaks.
Helps the recruitment and retention process
SMEs that offer group medical coverage generally show lower hiring costs as they manage to recruit and retain talented employees faster. It also reduces absenteeism as the employees are more likely to get health checkups done and hence it also decreases the risks associated with poor health in the long run. Healthy employees have lesser chances of falling ill and are more likely to do their jobs well.
Better environment equates to higher motivation
Healthier employees mean an enhanced office environment and improved morale. Group insurance offered to employees makes them more confident that you are concerned about their welfare hence making them happier and more satisfied with their jobs. Sometimes employees may be happier with slightly lower pay if they have insurance, as on their own they would have to put in much more for getting a personal health insurance policy.
Direct benefits your employees can get with Group health Insurance which they would not have gotten with a personal policy-
- No need to go for any medical checkups either for the employee or for their family.
- Covered by the policy from day one.
- This policy also offers maternity benefits for the employee or their spouse which cannot be availed in a personal insurance.
- They are less costly than individual health plans.
- Being insured from day one means there is no pre existing diseases waiting clause; so even if the employee has recently suffered an ailment they still would be covered and not need to wait to be covered for this ailment; unlike other health insurance policies.
Finally group health insurance cover is a great opportunity for SMEs to protect their staff and keep them happy; even if it is used as an additional policy apart from their individual policy to take care of skyrocketing health care costs nowadays.