A group mediclaim insurance policy covers a group of individuals under a single plan. The insurance provider issues a master policy which contains the name of all the insured members and the sum insured. Individual health insurance plans can be taken for a consecutive period of two to three years and are renewable lifelong. However, a group health insurance plan is available only on an annual basis. Once the year ends, the organisation has to renew the policy to continue coverage; it is not mandatory for an insurer to renew the insurance.
Renewal tasks for the employer
As an employer, when renewing a group medical insurance policy, you would have to do the following.
- Request renewal: You would have to request the insurance company to renew the policy to ensure continuous coverage for your members.
- Inform insurer of addition/deletion of members: If the company has hired new people, you have to include them in the coverage. Similarly, if any existing member is no longer a part of the company, you should terminate their coverage. You would, therefore, have to inform the insurance company about the entry or exit of members.
- Increase sum insured if required: Renewal is a good time to make a request to the insurance company to increase the sum insured. During the pandemic, many companies have tried to increase the sum assured of an existing insurance. However, these increases can be done only on renewal.
- Insert add-ons: Riders are available with group mediclaim policies. If you want to opt for available riders, you should inform the insurance company accordingly.
Considerations for the insurer
Once the organisation provides the insurance company this information, the insurer makes the required changes in the existing plan. The insurance company also checks the following:
- Total claims made: If the claims made during the past year are low, the insurer will usually offer a discount on renewal premiums.
- Feasibility of higher sum insured: The insurer will check to see if an increase in sum insured is possible, based on its underwriting principles.
- Change in premium: Chosen riders and an enhanced sum insured (if any) might necessitate an increase in premium.
- Change in members: The insurer will check the new list of members and their ages, which could again affect the premium.
Thereafter, the premium is calculated considering the members covered, their age, the sum insured, riders selected and discounts, if any. The insurance company would then offer the revised group mediclaim policy to the organisation.
If the company approves, it would have to pay the premiums, after which, the insurer will renew the policy. Do make sure that the renewal premium reaches the insurer before the previous insurance lapses. This ensures continuity of insurance cover without a break. A group health insurance plan provides group members with good coverage at affordable premiums. The group should, therefore, renew the policy in time for continuous coverage.
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