General insurers, both private and public, have started offering continuity of features of group mediclaim policies to employees even after one quits an organisation where the cover was originally offered. People retiring can also continue to avail of the facilities of the group health policies. The only catch is that it no longer remains a group policy and gets struck off the list of covered employees of the company. It is now treated as an individual policy.

Premiums for the policy, therefore, are higher than what the former employer paid for the individual. But, features like inclusion of pre-existing diseases and continuity clauses remain with the policy while waiting periods for covering certain ailments are waived.

Although group policies are generally tailor-made for each company, their continuity with individuals after they quit are being increasingly allowed by a number of general insurers like ICICI Lombard, Bajaj Allainz General Insurance as well as the four public sector companies – United India Insurance, National Insurance, Oriental Insurance and New India Assurance.

“However, tailored mediclaim policies often include maternity covers which will not be extended when it is converted into an individual policy. Other things like waiver of waiting period, pre-existing diseases will be offered in the individual policy. We get the claims history of an individual when he/she was covered under the group policy,” said Shreeraj Deshpande, head, health insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company.

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January 2021