Pandemic fuels rise of group health insurance with parental coverage, report says

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The pandemic has acted as a major catalyst to fuel the adoption of group health insurance (GHI) with parental coverage in companies. These are either fully employer-sponsored coverages or voluntary parental coverages in which the decision to opt for parental coverages rests with the employees, according to a report by Plum, an employee health insurance platform.

The report says 30% of its customers have parental coverage under GHI policies. Most of these companies are first-time insurance buyers with an average headcount of less than 100 employees and an average age of employees of 30 and parents of 57.5.

Moreover, the average sum insured for parental covers has risen from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh in the past two years, according to the Plum report.

While these numbers indicate a strong sense of responsibility among startups and relatively young companies to protect the health and well-being of their employees and families, this is just the beginning. Data shows that most insured parents are of retirement age, making them dependent on active members for their well-being.

For companies that do not insure the parents of their employees, there could be a loss of peace of mind and productivity. India also has the highest out-of-pocket health expenditure among G20 countries, pushing nearly 60 million people into poverty each year (National Health Authority, 2020), meaning that a chronic illness can deplete a family’s savings.

Abhishek Poddar, co-founder and CEO of Plum, said in a press release: “Our parents have been instrumental in shaping our future and therefore it is our moral responsibility to provide them with medical security at the when they need it. more. In a country where one in five people have diabetes and the majority of older people have pre-existing conditions, group health insurance is the best option for extending comprehensive health care to older people. Product availability is no longer a challenge, but lack of awareness is.

The inclusion of parental cover in the collective health insurance has several advantages such as the absence of age limit for the parents, the absence of prior medical visits, the cover is applicable from the first day and covers, among other things, the pre-existing illnesses. Additionally, organizations can customize their policies to suit their needs.

About 75 million people over the age of 60 in India suffer from a chronic disease, according to the world’s largest study of older people, the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI). Health insurance penetration among this age group is among the lowest, due to a lack of awareness, accessibility and affordability. Additionally, individual retail policies have their own restrictions for integrating seniors. Therefore, in order to facilitate the medical security of parents, it is extremely important to include them in group health coverages.

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