A health insurance policy is supposed to be your rescuer in tough times. However, if you doubt the investment for any reason, then it is recommended to shift to another policy or insurer! This article will throw light on all that you need to know about health insurance portability.
Investing in a health insurance policy is a must in today’s stressful times. However, the choice of the insurer and the policy has to be well-informed to make the most of it. There may, nevertheless, occur instances when you feel that your policy is not or may not serve you the way you expect it to. In this case, you always have a way out!
In 2011, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) allowed health insurance portability. Today this rule applies to individual health insurance policies and family floater policies issued by non-life insurance providers. This rule also enables you to switch to an individual plan from a group health insurance plan.
One of the leverages of this IRDA rule is that the benefits / discounts / bonuses that the insured enjoyed in the previous plan will be carried on in the new policy. Moreover, the new policy can be further tailored to add more benefits.
When should you consider porting your health insurance plan?
The task of porting your health insurance policy may seem overwhelming, but it is important to do so when –
- There are hidden clauses in your current plan, which were not explained properly to you by the insurer’s salesperson while signing up for the policy. You may get to know of this in times of emergency and since these clauses may be binding, you might not be able to do anything about them. In this case, it would be wise to opt for health insurance portability and shift to a more transparent insurance provider.
- It is ideal that you check the history of claim settlements by the insurer whose policy you want to sign up for. However, if you discover later that the insurer’s reputation is not good, port your health insurance policy.
- Bad service by your insurer is definitely one of the reasons you should consider for health insurance portability.
- Ensure to check if a health insurance policy meets all your current and future needs. However, if you sign up for a policy and realize you need specialized services that your current plan does not offer, port the policy!
- When it is about investing your hard earned money, you definitely want the best. If you come across a health insurance plan that is better than your existing cover, do not hesitate to port.
- Sometimes you may feel the need of an additional cover in your health insurance policy. In such a case, you may first consider to add Super Top Up plan to your existing health insurance. However, if it gets too expensive to add that in your current plan, then consider health insurance portability.
Health Insurance Portability Guidelines
The procedure of porting a health insurance policy has its own guidelines.
- You can port your health insurance only at the time of policy renewal.
- The new insurer has to receive the health insurance portability application 45 days prior to expiry of your current policy. In your application, you also need to mention the name of the current insurance provider.
- Similarly, the new insurer must respond to your portability request within 15 days of the receipt of your proposal. If there is a delay in this case, then the responsibility lies with the new insurer. In this case, the new insurer has to request the old insurer to provide you with short-term insurance (up to 30 days from due date). You will have to pay the health insurance premium for this, which would be on a pro-rata basis.
- Please note, if there is a break in your current policy, the new insurer will certainly deny your portability request. Therefore, apply for health insurance portability before your current policy expires. Also ensure you have the necessary documentation to show the continuity of your policy.
- It is also important to note that only similar or like-to-like policies are portable. Also note that you can shift from one plan to another (similar kind) within the same insurance company.
- If you have never made a claim through your existing policy and have no pre-existing illnesses, then the new insurer may charge lower premium. However, if this is not the case, the new company may either increase your premium or can even refuse to provide you with a health insurance policy, if the risk for them is high or unacceptable altogether.
Therefore, even with much competition in the market, portability is not guaranteed. In such a case, you can go back to your existing insurer, even though the application may be midway. And you can do this without an increase in premiums or any additional conditions by the current company.
- The waiting period clause in health insurance policies exists for pre-existing illnesses. However, if you have completed a certain amount of waiting period in your previous policy, then the new policy picks up the waiting period from there itself, instead of starting all over again. Similarly, if you have completed your waiting period in the previous policy, then there will be none after porting your health insurance.
- The new insurer must provide you the minimum sum assured equivalent to that in the previous policy. However, you can opt to increase this amount in the renewal stage.
Signing up for a health insurance policy is a long term decision and therefore it should be well-informed. However, if you feel your decision wasn’t the best one, it is always wise to change it than live with a wrong one. Porting health insurance may seem a daunting task, but it is the best option to ensure you are better covered in bad times.