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Group Health Coverage or Individual Coverage: Which Is Better for Your Business?

The decision to offer group health coverage is a crucial one for any business owner. There are many factors that go into this decision, including the size of your company and how much you can afford to contribute towards employee healthcare. It’s important to understand what’s in it for both you and your employees before making a final decision if your business doesn’t already offer group health benefits.

What is a group health insurance plan?

Group health insurance is an employer-sponsored insurance plan which is offered to your eligible employees and their dependents. Ideally, your employee will be eligible after completing a specific time in the company. You, as an employer, carefully select and purchase the health insurance plan and then splits the premium cost between your employee and your business. These plans can provide financial help to employees if they need to be hospitalized at any point in time.

What is an individual coverage plan?

Individual health coverage is a type of self-insurance taken by your employees for themselves and their families or dependents. An insurance broker can assist your employee in understanding and selecting the most suited plan for their unique needs and what premium charges they can pay for. The insurer usually covers pre-existing health conditions. 

Premium tax credits may be offered to employees who qualify based on their salary income. However, you as an employer can help your employees with their payments via a health reimbursement (HRA) option. This grants them a tax-free reimbursement for their medical expenses.

What’s included in group health insurance?

Some of the benefits offered by several group health insurance plans include:

  • Comprehensive cover
  • Coverage of some pre-existing medical conditions
  • Family member discounts
  • Choice of doctors
  • An option to add-on various riders, including vision and dental coverage

How is group health insurance different from individual coverage?

With group health plans, the cover and costs are shared amongst a related group of people, such as you and your employees. In contrast, individual health insurance only covers a single person, like a single employee. An Employee Group cover is usually cheaper if purchased by you as an employer and helps act as a basic financial cover for your employees’ or their families’ emergency medical needs. You may offer top-ups on the premiums to raise the sum assured.

Why should I offer health insurance to my employees?

Health insurance is a basic need and covers your employees against medical expenses. Compared to individual plans, offering group health coverage to your employees has many cost-saving aspects, including tax incentives, a more comprehensive risk pool, and a subsequent price reduction owing to more subscribers to the plan. 

The advantages of group health insurance to you as an employer include:

  • The loyalty of employees as they get covered for their medical needs at marginal rates of contribution
  • Reduced premiums for you as the employer
  • High level of medical care provided to your employees by network hospitals
  • Provision of preventive healthcare including regular check-ups and gym membership discounts to promote a healthy lifestyle which can improve work productivity
  • Waiver of waiting periods for claims to be made
  • Small business insurance in terms of health insurance offers tax benefits for you based on the Income Tax Act and the amount of premium paid

Getting Help Choosing the Right Insurance for Your Employees

There are various health insurance plans available in the market today, and each serves different needs. You need to decide which insurance works best for you. An employee can be insured under several policies, including critical illness covers. Work towards drawing up a healthy portfolio of health insurance products for your employees that can work best at covering them against financial costs in health-related emergencies.

Get in touch with Bethany Insurance to see how our team of expert agents can help your restaurant find the right insurance policies that can give you extra support and peace of mind.