Protecting our health is not a choice but a necessity these days. Amidst the rising demand for health insurance policies during the pandemic, the policy buyers are keen on understanding various facets of the coverage before buying one. Facing the current needs to safeguard your health, you might have plans to switch to a health insurance policy offered by a different insurer. It can be because you want better coverage or Corona health insurance cover under the policy.
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Before you decide to port your current health insurance policy, read this guide.
About Health Insurance Portability in India
Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) introduced the concept of health insurance portability in 2011. By utilizing this facility, a policyholder is given the right to switch from one health insurance company to another or between different plans offered by the same insurer. As a health insurance policyholder, you can port your policy if it provides inadequate coverage or you face delays in getting the medical bills reimbursed by the insurer. You will also be entitled to receive many endless benefits like No Claim Bonus (NCB), free checkups, if any, or a waiting period for pre-existing diseases.
Need for Health Insurance Portability
Consider this example to understand why IRDAI made it easier for Indians to port a health insurance policy –
Mr. Sharma purchased a health insurance policy to take good care of his health in the time ahead. He has already been suffering from Bronchitis while buying the policy and has specified that to the insurer. He also agreed to serve the waiting period of two years for this pre-existing condition. But witnessing the sudden rise in the premium payable for policy renewal, he thought to switch to a new insurance company. After continuing with the policy for the last three years, he was worried about losing NCB and waiting period benefits.
To ensure that people like Mr. Sharma do not lose the accumulated benefits, IRDAI issues health insurance portability guidelines.
Before you choose to port your current health insurance policy, you need to know the following:
- You get the right to port the policy provided you have continued with the existing policy without breaks.
- You need to apply for health insurance portability to your current insurer at least forty-five days before the date of premium renewal of the current policy.
- It is up to the chosen insurance company to accept or reject any port-in requests on specific grounds.
- If the port-in request gets rejected, the policyholder does not have any other option but to continue with the current insurer.
- If you fall into the ‘high-risk category of policy buyers, you may have to pay a higher premium after porting the current health insurance policy.
- There can be a difference between the waiting period for specific diseases under different health insurance policies. For instance, if the current insurer has a waiting period of 2 years for asthma, but 3 years for the new insurer, you will have to undergo the additional waiting period of one year.
Health Insurance Portability Process
After you apply to port your health insurance policy before the renewal date, you will receive a portability form. You need to submit the filled-in form back to the insurer, after which your claim history and medical records will be checked.
As per IRDAI rules, the existing insurer has to furnish the details in seven working days. Once the new insurer receives all the required information, it has to decide within fifteen days. Failing to do so will bind it to accept the application.
The Bottom Line
Although you get the right to port a health insurance policy, this decision must be taken by carefully assessing all sides of it. Whether it is premium, features and benefits of the new plan, inclusions, or exclusions after porting, you need to consider all of it. Also, keep in mind to partner with a renowned insurance company like Tata AIG, which also provides COVID treatment coverage, cashless hospitalization, and many other benefits.