After the outbreak of pandemic, the government has made it mandatory for all employers which resume functioning as the lockdown gets over, to provide medical insurance to their employees.
CEO and Director, Liberty General Insurance, Roopam Asthana, said that earlier it was not mandatory for all employers to provide health insurance cover to their employees. “However, some employers were buying ‘Group Health Insurance’ from insurance companies to cover their employees.”
A corporate group health insurance policy generally covers hospitalisation expenses of employees as well as defined family members including parents or parents-in-law up to a prescribed limit.
A recent Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) circular mentioned; All industrial and commercial establishments, workplaces, offices etc. shall put in place arrangements for the implementation of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) before starting their functioning. As per clause no. 5 of Annexure – II of the said SOP for social distancing for offices, workplace, factories and establishments, medical insurance for the workers to be made mandatory, as per the circular.
In the circular, the regulator has advised insurers to offer comprehensive health insurance policies to individuals or groups to enable the above mentioned organisations to comply with the government’s directions. The regulator has also advised the insurers to devise these comprehensive health insurance products with simple wordings and conditions and at an affordable cost for the stated organisations.
Dr. S. Prakash, MD at Star Health and Allied Insurance, said that any health insurance cover (comprehensive health insurance or group insurance policy) is a great gesture by a company towards its employees.
According to Prakash, after the MHA order, all companies should strive towards providing health insurance cover to their employees. “The companies can provide group health insurance covers to their employees as they are not very expensive and can be purchased with ease by large and small-scale companies,” he said.