Usually professionals are casual about insurance needs because their employer is providing a health cover. Employer cover is great but the real question is, is it enough? 

Before we answer that, let's look at the benefits of a employer managed health cover.

Benefits Of Your Employer-provided insurance

One of the biggest benefits of a employer health cover is that it's automatic and is part of your employment contract. Because its automatic, employer health cover removes 'procrastination' and 'indecision' as far as health insurance is concerned.


No restrictions on 'pre-existing' health conditions: Since companies negotiate a health cover as a 'group', insurance companies provide them special benefits that you might not get in retail plans. Biggest benefit of an employer cover is that it usually does not carry restrictions that you cannot cover 'A' or 'B'. 
Covers immediate family 
In most cases, companies would opt to provide employees with a family cover. This means that you, your spouse and maybe your child too will be covered. In more cash-rich companies, even parents are likely to be covered. So employer plans allow you an easy way to protect your immediate family.
Planned health expenses covered
Another great feature of an employer cover that it usually includes planned hospitalization. Expenses related to a pregnancy or a lasik surgery are likely to be covered in a corporate plan but such surgeries come with 'waiting periods' in a retail plan.

Out-patient expenses are covered
Not all companies cover this but some definitely do. Again a massive benefit - clinical visits are usually not covered in retail plans but that same restriction does not apply for employer plans.

Blind-spots in a employer health insurance 

 
It is not permanent
We can't stress this enough - health insurance planning runs for 20-30 years. The older you get and the less productive you become, the more you need assistance of this product. A corporate cover comes with special benefits that will only accrue as long as you are an employee. Once you leave for whatever reason, such benefits tend to lapse. 
 
What's worse is that you might end up leaving your company at 45 and go to the market to find a retail plan. It will be both tougher and costlier for you to find a right plan at that age. And the plan will come with a lot of restrictions.

You are most likely under-insured

An average male of 35 insuring his family and earning 20 lacs would need atleast 10 lacs sum insured. Most companies offer a plan with 2-3 lacs sum insured which is simply not enough. Companies try to minimize their insurance premium and usually end up in a plan that is not sufficient for your individual needs.

Your family might not be covered

If your plan is restrictive and does not cover your loved ones, it makes sense to cover the gaps by choosing a retail health cover.

You can plan a supplemental cover (top-up) to protect you over and above your employer cover. A supplemental cover is cheap and helps you build a history with an insurance company. I'll explain in the next few days on how you can plan your top-up cover. Keep following this space.