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Don't depend on just that office mediclaim

If you thought the group health insurance cover for your entire family offered by your employer was good enough, think again!

business Updated: Sep 09, 2010 23:26 IST
HT Correspondent

If you thought the group health insurance cover for your entire family offered by your employer was good enough, think again!

According to experts, with rising medical costs and insurance companies insisting on higher premiums, individuals may have to set aside money separately for personal health insurance covers, to supplement the ones offered by employers.

Health insurance cover is mandatory for those who fall under the low and mid-income level.

"Currently those who come under a high-income group are primarily the ones who have health insurance cover while the requirement for cover is much more for those under the low-income group," K.K. Goel, director, Unique Health and Wealth Consultants Private Ltd and an independent financial planner.

"Individual health insurance cover is a must, irrespective of whether the employer is offering a group insurance cover or not," said Lovaii Navlakhi of Banglaore-based consulting and personal finance advisory firm Money Matters.

With insurance companies insisting on higher premiums from corporations that offer health insurance benefits to their employees, group insurance would not suffice as the portfolio of benefits would narrow over time, experts said.

"Every individual should go in for maximum health cover depending on his size, affordability and medical history," said Navlakhi.

Experts also said that health insurance should be as crucial for an individual as a life cover. "Heath insurance is absolutely critical and an individual should essentially go in for a family cover," Surya Bhatia, principal consultant, Asset Manager, told Hindustan Times.

Under the proposed Direct Taxes Code, which has been introduced in Parliament last month, medical costs of up to R50,000 per year would be made tax exempt from the current level of R15,000. "This would also encourage individuals to go in for more health insurance cover," Bhatia said.

At present, the four state owned general insurance companies — National Insurance Company, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance –together manage about Rs 6,000 crore of health insurance business.