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Giving new life to portable insurance

Published on Jun 16, 2014 6:22 AM

Legacy acts like a boulder that impedes proposed changes to employer-paid medical benefits, and lethargy is the other stumbling block. Caught between that rock and a hard place are workers who lose precious medical insurance when they resign, are retrenched or retire. Though fully covered by a group health plan while employed, they are in reality swimming naked, as it becomes evident when the tide runs out.

It was precisely to help such workers that the concept of portable medical benefits was born.

But despite over 15 years of debate, regrettably, most employers have not revised their existing schemes and employees have been content with the status quo. Low levels of awareness, costs, lack of monetary incentives for change and implementation issues are cited for the weak take-up of portable health plans.

The labour movement is now making a renewed effort to coax more firms to make the switch to portable benefits. The argument advanced is sound.

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