Basically it is a policy designed to cover a group of individuals. They can be members of a certain society, work for a common employer or are professionals all in the same line of work.
You cannot convert your group health insurance to individual coverage because everyone is included under the one master policy. What this means is whatever is written there must be followed by everyone and no alterations can be made.
The advantage of using group health insurance is that it is cheaper than individual policies. This allows you to have the advantage of coverage for more services at a much lower premium per member.
Once the group has signed up for such a policy, each one will get an insurance certificate which demonstrates their eligibility for the benefits. If it is written in the master policy that everyone should become part of an HMO, then the members have no choice but to follow.
An example of an HMO that honors the group health insurance happens to be Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Under their policy, you can only see and consult with a physician that is accredited by the HMO.
The advantage of group health insurance is that members don’t have to undergo physical exams. You can be covered even if you have pre-existing conditions which is good when a lot of companies out there will reject anyone outright.
Given the huge cost for group health insurance, employers get this from their employees through flexible payroll deduction that will allow the employee to have a certain amount of take home pay. But some companies who have signed up for group health insurance are very generous. They pay for everything so the employee does not have to shoulder anything.
So if you are an employer and want to provide insurance coverage to your employees, consider getting group health insurance. It is much cheaper than individual policies and has numerous benefits that everyone can use.