Group health insurance is a health insurance policy that offers medical coverage for many people in a single policy. Unlike individual health insurance plans that require the insurer to either pay or reimburse the insured individual for health/medical expenses, group health insurance policies require the insurer to bear all medical costs for the treatment of insured group members suffering from ill-health or injury.
Usually, group health insurances are sponsored by employers for their employees; however, self-employed individuals and even retired persons can avail of the advantages, i.e., medical coverage being provided by a group insurance policy. Health coverage includes:
Treatment (including medication, physiotherapy, psychiatric care/counseling and so on and so forth) once a group member has received diagnosis
- Access to direct consultation and help-line services
Group health insurance plans are priced much lower than individual health insurance plans and are, therefore, ideal for those who need unceasing medical coverage. Moreover, age or physical condition will never be an issue for eligible group-members. Elderly people and their families, in particular, are highly benefited by these insurance plans.
Types of Group Health Insurance
Group health insurance policies are of two types: one offering long-term medical coverage and the other short-term medical coverage. Group insurance schemes like the Maximum Benefit Plan offer $1 million USD (maximum limit) of lifetime benefits to group-members. Some of the latest group health insurance plans even provide 100% coverage for hospitalization costs as against normal insurance coverage of 80%.
Domestic plans apart, group health insurance plans providing worldwide medical coverage are also on the offer. The Worldwide Major Medical Coverage is a long-term group health insurance scheme, which includes comprehensive medical benefits like treatment at the insurance holder’s preferred medical facility, consultancy, etc. Other than local nationals, permanent foreign nationals, missionaries and student groups are protected under this policy. Long-term assignments outside United States also makes you eligible for the worldwide coverage.
A short-term policy like the Travel Medical Coverage will match your health insurance requirements if you undertake a group tour or are selected for a temporary international assignment. Medical benefits like maternity benefits, treatment for mental/nervous complicates and/or preventative benefits are not part of this policy. The coverage is limited to the region where one is insured.
Most employers offer group health insurance coverage to their employees. Why?
Health insurance is offered by many employers as an incentive and in most cases, these happen to be group health insurance plans. Present-day employers fully recognize the aptness and importance of the old adage “Health is wealth”. Getting a health insurance policy for an employee and his/her family means that they will receive timely treatment and will not be subjected to long-term undue suffering. And since speedy recovery means less time off of valuable work hours/days, there will be less disruption in office work.
As far as the employee is concerned, being a member of a group health insurance policy is the basis of great mental content. Holding a membership in a health insurance policy makes one eligible for receiving medical coverage any time and for every need covered by the policy. Many companies even sponsor annual health-check ups for employees at hospitals. Moreover, with the employer sponsoring the policy, the employee will not need to take any monetary responsibility to pay the premium for a medical insurance plan.
These serve to boost the morale of the staff and they focus more on their jobs. In due course, this commitment affects the employer and the business positively.
Self-employed! You too are eligible for a group health insurance. Find Out How!
Some effective group health insurance schemes have been launched for retired personnel, self-employed people and employees who are not offered health insurance coverage by their employers. Some of these plans necessitate affiliation to some association. There is also this “group of one” insurance plan, which provides health coverage to self-employed and retired people. Value-wise the “group of one” insurance plans are economical than the individual health insurance plans, in fact, some are available at group health insurance plan rates.
Points you need to clarify before buying a group health insurance policy:
Internet is the best place to look for all group health insurance related information. But beware of frauds. The Internet hosts many websites that have databases of legal companies. You will also be able to compare prices of different policies.
Once you have decide to buy a group health insurance from a particular company, visit their office. Remember, all that the ads and testimonials have to say are no real pointers. They may be misleading. For real, authentic facts and information you need at least one face-to-face session.
The insurance policies formulated by experienced insurance lawyers vary in different situations. Listen attentively to the fine points the sales agent discusses with you and put forward your queries unless you are fully satisfied. Contact your acquaintances and friends to find out about the risk factors, etc. If you still find it confusing, hire a lawyer and seek his/her guidance to identify the ideal group health insurance policy for you.