Employers and businesspersons offer group health insurance to people working under them. The mediclaim insurance is also called an employer healthcare plan as the employer pays for the employee benefits.
Does an independent contractor qualify to buy the policy for the professionals under their supervision? Independent contractors do not only work solo, but also provide an employment opportunity for other professionals. By the norms set by IRDAI, any group (employer-employee or non-employer and non-employee) can buy group healthcare policies. Thus, an independent contractor who provides services or goods under a contractual bonding can also offer this policy for the employees.
A quick guide for the best group healthcare plan
Employers of different small-scale or large-scale organizations can offer group healthcare benefits to the employees in return for their service. An independent contractor can select a policy to buy and provide such service benefits. But are all the Mediclaim policies work aptly for the needs? Services that the independent contractors may offer are versatile. Some services may involve risks, while some may be a desk job! Hence, while selecting the policy, the employer should review what the employees would necessitate and look forward to a healthcare policy.
- Waiting period for diseases
Different insurance companies have a different set of rules for the waiting period. The time varies depending on the illness and other factors. For example, a policyholder may have to wait for 24 months or more to enjoy the plan coverage for pre-existing ailments. With independent contractor services, the average age of employees does not follow a pattern. There may be employees of 50 yrs and simultaneously a fresher of age 24! Thus, for offering a plan that suits them all, check for a policy having a lesser duration for waiting period related to various illnesses and pre-existing diseases.
- Coverage for ailments
Healthcare insurance bears the expense for treatment but certain expenses do not get full insurance support. The additional charges may be the pre-and post-hospitalization care, room rent limitation for hospitals, and much more. As an independent firm, identify the best policy features without exceeding the budget. Go for a balanced combination of features and reasonable premiums to cover most medical expenses.
- Coverage for family members
Independent contractors may opt for a plan that only offers medical benefits to the employee. You may not go for a comprehensive plan where you have to include the family members. Choose medical insurance that provides steady support to help them reduce the financial stress during emergencies. However, the decision completely depends on you and how much you can afford for your employees as you have to pay for the premiums at the year-end.
- Flexible add-on options
Group policies also have add-on benefit features. Most insurance companies do not elaborately define such features. For this, you end up paying more. The insurance brokers are the best ones to help you out with the plan features. They offer the right insurance plans with flexible add-on insurance benefits for better customer satisfaction. Before purchasing the policy, ensure to check if you can add optional coverage with the existing policy benefits. It helps the policyholder to customize the insurance coverage as per their convenience.
- Within the budget
Independent contractors may not always have a high-paying service. Their budget depends on the projects they receive and outsource. The supply of money and projects is not the same throughout the year. Thus, unlike conventional services, an independent contractor has to carefully consider before making a financial commitment. It is a practical factor that you cannot omit while selecting policies. So, it is always better to calculate beforehand and consult with an insurance seller to find the best alternatives to buy. Do not exceed the budget as you have to pay for the premiums for the long term.
- Accidental coverage and benefits
The employee’s service under an independent contractor may be on-field or off-field. Those associated with the off-field activities have a desk job where job-related service risks are low. But again, if the service is related to operating any machinery, the risk is high. You have to consider this factor based on the type of service you do and the service-related risk that your employees may undergo. Hence, it is always safer to pick insurance where you do not have to pay extra for covering the accidental medical expense. The policy you select should have the clause mentioned through which the policyholder can enjoy cashless treatment for accidental medical cases.
- Lifetime renewability and easy processing
These days most insurances have an option of lifetime renewability and easy portability. Finding such Mediclaim plans will not be so difficult for you. But what may be troublesome is the processing pace. Many insurance companies have excellent policy features and affordable plans but lack in the processing part. The TPA associated with the insurance company also has a significant role to play in ensuring a hassle-free service. Thus, you are only left with the option of going by practical reviews. Understand if the insurance company you have chosen has a smooth claim settlement and processing through online reviews of existing customers.
- No medical checkup – Ensure hassle-free service
Some insurance companies have a compulsory health checkup routine for approving the policy. It only delays the processing period. For independent contractors, it can come across as a negative trait in insurance plans. To avoid this, go for insurance that allows policy approval without a medical checkup below the age of forty-five or fifty. It saves time and smoothens the process.
- Network of hospitals for cashless treatment
The job profile for those working under an independent contractor may be different with different services. Employees may have to visit places and different parts of the country to do the job. Hence you cannot omit the chances of them needing healthcare coverage during a work trip. Thus, ensure that the policy you choose for your employees has cashless treatment coverage with a wide network of hospitals throughout India. It keeps them on the safer side by helping in reducing financial stress.
- Option for co-payment
Many do not know what a co-payment option is. With the group health insurance plans, there can be a feature of co-payment. Here the insurance bears a part of the expense and the rest is paid by the policyholder. In such insurance plans, the premium is comparatively less as the insurance company does not hold the responsibility to provide complete coverage for medical treatments. It helps the independent contractors in reducing their expenses for maintaining the insurance for the employees.
How to find the best policy?
All the mentioned insurance features combined make the best healthcare plan for the employees. But buying the right one is not that easy when you do not know who to connect to. The best way and the most sensible way is to find a reliable insurance broker to help you with a customized group health insurance plan.
Get it right with PlanCover.
PlanCover offers the best insurance plans for employers and independent contractors. The efficient team of insurance experts listens to your specific needs and finds the best healthcare plan that suits your needs. They have several plans from the leading IRDAI-approved companies in India and sell policies to companies having an employee strength of 7 to 450. So if you are also searching for the right policy, PlanCover can be your one-stop solution.