Health care represents a growing portion of the typical household budget. To cover these costs, many families rely on health insurance. Although health insurance is available to individuals and families unaffiliated with any group—see Personal Health Insurance—the restrictions and expense associated with this choice are often prohibitive. More often, employers, unions, and other groups offer group health insurance as a benefit to their members or employees, often paying a portion of the premium as an additional benefit. Because the risks of such insurance are shared across the group, Group Health Insurance generally poses far fewer restrictions to the insured in terms of preexisting conditions, state of health, and other considerations.
What Group Health Insurance Is Not
Although Group Health Insurance poses fewer restrictions to membership than Personal Health Insurance, insureds are obligated to accept whatever limits of coverage are imposed on the group. In practice, this means that insureds are less able to tailor a policy to individual needs. Group policies usually require that claims be filed, and may have high deductibles. Generally preventive care is not covered. Low limits for major medical, mental health, and/or chemical dependency treatment may also be part of group health policies.
Who Needs Group Health Insurance?
Offering Group Health Insurance is an expensive proposition for an employer, union, or other group. The advantages for employees and group members, however, are significant. As employee benefits go, Group Health Insurance is one that many employers would agree best enables them to attract and retain a high-quality work force.
Things To Think About
How many would be in the group? What are their health characteristics? Do you want to share cost with the members?