The MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) sector in India has emerged as an active sector which contributes over 30% of India’s GDP. The sector provides huge employment opportunities and is currently employing almost 40% of the country’s workforce. MSMEs are on the verge of overtaking the agricultural sector to become the backbone of India’s economy. They also act as a catalyst in driving India’s social and economic development through innovation, entrepreneurship and huge employment opportunities, especially in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns and cities. Going forward, the MSME sector is expected to create over a million jobs every year and continue to add to India’s burgeoning economy.
However, even though the MSME sector plays a key role in the country’s economy, it continues to struggle with a plethora of challenges. One of these challenges is the abysmally low rate of health insurance for people employed in this sector. It is estimated that the Health Insurance penetration in the MSME sector is only around 31%, whereas it is around 85% in large corporations. A sector that employs over 40% of the country’s workforce, with just a third of them having any form of health insurance, is a definite cause for concern.
Given the economy’s dependence on the MSMEs, there is an urgent need to cover the people, employed in this sector, with appropriate health insurance schemes which will provide them the necessary support and also allay their fears should they be struck down with an ailment. It is also important to reach out to the MSME owners and make them aware of the criticality of health insurance and provide essential medical cover to the workforce.
One of the main challenges the Health Insurance companies face in bringing medical insurance to the MSME sector is the lack of awareness in semi and peri urban and rural areas. Lack of financial literacy, working in the unorganized sector and the lack of proper identification of legitimate groups are again reasons which prevent health insurance from reaching the grassroot level.
Overcoming the challenges in bringing Group Health Insurance to the last mile of the MSME sector is crucial. To address this, Star Health and Allied Insurance have embarked on a journey to provide coverage to employees and their families through carefully crafted Group Health Insurance policies at an affordable premium. Securing the employees’ health with Group Health Insurance has a multitude of benefits. Apart from the fact that the employees’ health is secured, Group Medical Insurance helps in the retention of manpower, creates a positive work culture and attracts new talents, which, in turn, increases the overall productivity of this sector.
Star Health Insurance’s Group Medical Cover insurance policy covers health and medical expenses. The Group Arogya Sanjeevani Policy, available under Group Medical Cover scheme, covers individuals and/or families for in-patient hospitalisation cover, pre and post hospitalisation expenses, day care treatments/procedures, maternity benefits, new born care and AYUSH treatment. The Group Medical Cover is available for MSMEs and Startups as well as for other organizations. In this policy, employees can choose to include their family members like spouse, dependent children, parents and parent in-laws. The policy also provides a floater/individual sum insured to cover the medical expenses of 24-hour in-patient hospitalisation due to an illness or an accident and day care procedures. The employee can opt an additional top-up cover to suit his/her requirements.
What makes Star Health’s Group Arogya Sanjeevani Policy, Star Health and Allied Insurance Co Ltd a preferred choice is the convenience it offers to its policyholders. The insured can avail themselves of a floater cover and get family covered (spouse, dependent children, parents and in-laws) for the same sum insured by paying one premium amount. He/she can also avail cashless facility at Network Hospitals and also can get reimbursement of expenses.
One of the biggest advantages of taking the Star Group Health Insurance cover is the waiver of the waiting periods/time bound exclusions. Usually, in a Group Arogya Sanjeevani Policy, waiting periods are applied ranging from 30 days to 4 years and delivery expenses are not covered. However, Star Group Health Insurance allows the employees to enjoy all the waivers of time bound exclusions and certain additional benefits like delivery expenses.
The policy holder can also get a Corporate Buffer, which means an additional sum insured available for the whole group. This can be used in case of any medical emergency falling under specific diseases/illnesses after exhaustion of individual employee’s coverage. Under the family floater cover, this benefit can be extended to the employee, spouse and children with consent of the employer.
With more than 13,000 Network Hospitals and hassle-free documentation, Star Health Insurance provides seamless services across the country, thus, helping people employed in this sector reap the benefits of medical insurance.
The MSME sector acts as one of the key drivers to achieve our goals of becoming a leading economy. Therefore, it becomes crucial to secure the lives of people employed in that sector. Star Health Insurance has recognized and acknowledged the importance of this sector and, through specific insurance covers and policies, is ensuring that health insurance benefits reach this sector across the length and breadth of India.