Parents in Group Health Insurance

Including Parents in Group Health Insurance: the Pros & Cons

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Employer’s group health insurance covers all the employees of a company or organization. The group health insurance provides equal benefits to all the employees by default. The employer bears the premium, so it is one of the employee benefits provided by companies. In today’s times, when the cost of healthcare is constantly on the rise, group health insurance is viewed as an effective way to retain talented employees and enhance their productivity.

Group health insurance includes family coverage as well. Group medical cover policies provided by employers usually include the spouse and children of each employee. However, the family consists of parents as well. To this end, group health insurance plans provide coverage to parents on payment of more premiums. Thus, it is up to an employee to include parents in group health insurance by paying an extra premium.

In order to decide on the inclusion of parents in group health insurance, a careful assessment of its pros and cons is required which has been done below –

What are the pros of adding parents to group health insurance?

There are several advantages to including parents in group health insurance. Some of them are –

No Pre-Medical Check-Up

In the case of individual health insurance, a pre-medical check-up is required. The existing ailments and even the probability of developing medical problems in the future lead to strict terms and conditions. Parents of advanced age, especially senior citizens, are more likely to suffer from medical problems than the younger population. Thus, pre-medical check-ups are likely to make things difficult for them.

In the case of group health insurance, there is no question of pre-medical check-ups. It means including parents in group health insurance results in instant coverage from day one without any hassle of a medical check-up. Even if your parents suffer from any medical problem, it would be covered instantly.

No Waiting Period

The waiting period is a fixed time period during which the health insurance coverage does not work. This means the insurer does not accept claims raised before the expiry of the waiting period. Serious illnesses have very long and varying waiting periods depending on the ailment.

There is no waiting period in group health insurance for any illness. This means including parents in group health insurance results in instant coverage for any type of illness requiring hospitalization from which they may suffer. For example, if the waiting period for treatment of a cardiac ailment is 24 months in an individual or family floater health insurance plan, the same would be covered from day one under group health insurance.

Coverage Against Pre-Existing Diseases

Pre-existing diseases are chronic pathological conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and others. Individual health insurance plans have long waiting periods for pre-existing diseases, and many senior citizen plans do not even cover many pre-existing diseases. 

Group health insurance provides coverage for pre-existing diseases from day one. Thus, even if your parents are suffering from any pre-existing disease, they would get coverage without any waiting period. They are included in the group health insurance policy provided by your employer.

Buy Top-Up Plans with Deductibles at Lower Premiums

Group medical cover provided by your employer might not be enough in terms of the sum insured to include parents in group health insurance. In such a case, you can simply purchase a top-up or super top-up plan to enhance the sum insured. Top-up and super top-up plans are available with deductibles at low premium amounts.

You can use the sum insured under your base group health insurance policy to cover the medical expenses, and if the deductible limit is breached, your top-up plan will activate. It must be noted that under a top-up plan, the deductible can be breached only for a single hospitalization in a policy year, while in the case of a super top-up plan, the deductible amount can be breached over the entire policy year.

Cashless Provisions and Easier Claims

Cashless treatment is another reason to include your parents in group health insurance. If your parents get treatment in a network hospital of the insurer, you are not required to spend money from your own pockets as the insurer settles the hospital bill directly. You need to ensure that your parents are admitted to a network hospital of the insurer.

Raising claims without hassles is another reason to include your parents in the group medical cover provided by your employer. You are simply required to submit the required documents with your employer instead of running after the insurance provider. 

What are the cons of including parents in group health insurance?

Just like the advantages, there are also some disadvantages of adding your parents to a group health insurance policy provided by your employer. Some of the major cons are –

Coverage Provided by Employer’s Choice

Group medical cover is provided at the employer’s discretion. The employer is free to reduce the coverage benefits provided by the policy at any time and can even discontinue the group health insurance policy. The employer can also choose to remove the benefit of adding the employees’ parents to the group health insurance policy. 

Termination of A Policy Due to A Change of Job

Group health insurance ceases to cover you as soon as you leave your current organization that is providing the benefit. This is because group health insurance is only for the existing employees. Thus, if you have included your parents in the group health insurance policy provided by your current employer, then both you and your parents would be without medical cover if you leave the job.

Limited Coverage and High Frequency of Claims

The sum insured by group health insurance policies is not enough anyway. On top of that, if your parents are also included, and you raise multiple claims in a year for their treatments, the sum insured is likely to get exhausted. This can potentially leave you and your spouse/children with no coverage.


By weighing the pros and cons of including parents in group health insurance, you can decide whether to extend the coverage of your group health insurance to your parents or not. Including your parents means extending the same benefits that you are also receiving.

However, before proceeding to add your parents, you must check the disadvantages of doing so as well. In case you feel that including your parents in group health insurance is leaving no room for you and your family’s treatment, then you must consider opting for an individual health cover.

Vital provides individual health cover starting from just Rs. 299 per month. It provides cashless benefits, is entirely online which means no exchange of papers, and provides a host of other benefits such as unlimited teleconsultations, medicines that are home-delivered for free, and that too at a 25% discount among others.

To know more visit today.


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