5 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying Your Group Medical Insurance

06 Nov 2019

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Buying Your Group Medical Insurance

Providing a comprehensive benefits package to employees can be one of the best ways to entice and also preserve the best talent. While employee benefits packages will all vary for each industry and business there are a number of key components that the most successful packages have when it comes to group health insurance.

Here we will look at why simply offering any health insurance plan will not guarantee a successful benefits program and the top five mistakes made when implementing group health insurance and how you can avoid them.

1. Picking the cheapest!

Getting what you pay for is a popular expression not just in life but in business as well. With insurance this is no different, where simply going with the cheapest solution is not always the best plan.

Low-cost plans will tend to have a number of shortcomings that may not be apparent at first. For example, they may provide restricted levels of cover or might not cover certain medial conditions or therapies. This undoubtably will have a direct impact on not only how employees use the plan but also the way staff view their coverage as well.

Cheaper plans might not offer extra benefits such as wellness which is increasing popular these days. By including these additional benefits like this, companies have been able to not only realize an improved return on investment, but staff are often more productive and healthy in the long run.  

2. Not choosing the right coverage

There are two types of plans when it comes to group medical insurance, local and international. Local plans are structured in a way to simply provide coverage in one country or city. International plans, on the other hand, are, as the name suggests, international. They will give employees protection in most countries globally usually with the exception of the USA due to the incredibly high cost of care in the country.

The error many group health insurance managers will make is securing an inadequate level of coverage for employees. This is especially true for businesses with multiple offices in different countries and employees who travel between them. For example if you secure a local, Hong Kong only plan and an employee gets sick while visiting outside of Hong Kong, their medical bills will not be covered.

As a general guide, if you are going to move employees overseas, or to other countries, for placement it would be prudent to consider obtaining an international health insurance plan. This is particularly important if the employee will be traveling or perhaps even relocating to an area with inadequate health care and will not be eligible to receive care from government healthcare.


3. Not understanding eligibility requirements

Some medical insurance providers will have a compulsory membership clause on their policies. This is a contractual clause that states that all staff members of a certain level that you have selected to cover with the plan must be covered.

As an example, if you choose to secure an international health insurance plan for your senior managers in Indonesia, all senior managers of the company will then be obliged to be covered by the plan. This is not always the case with all group plans or insurers however it is something to be aware of whenever reviewing and implementing policies especially if you are a new company.

4. Covering pre-existing conditions

Traditionally group health insurance plans are set up in a way to have Medical History Disregarded (MHD). This means that the previous medical history of the employees covered on the scheme is not taken into account. In short this means that all of their pre-existing conditions are covered as soon as the policy is set up.

MHD plans are only available to groups of a certain size where typically a minimum number of employees have to be members to qualify. If you are a smaller size employee population this may not be something that is not available with all insurers so it is important that on to find out in advance what is obtainable.

5. Not including the employees in the selection process

This might seem simple however a common mistake from HR teams or managers is as basic as not actually providing the staff what they actually want or need. Sometimes what may initially look like a perfect policy can turn out to be way off the mark for what staff will actually use and benefit from. If this is the case, then the investment made (or lack of investment) my have a negative impact.

The most effective group insurance plans offer coverage that the employees find to be valuable and usable. The best way to do this is to have your team participate to level in the group insurance selection process. Take a moment to survey them on what sort of coverage they value the most what they would use and also where they are likely to use the policy. This kind of exercise can help ensure that your staff will know exactly what is covered and how to use the plan. Additionally staff who are invested will usually be more pleased with their benefits.



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