The IRDAI (Insurance and Regulatory Development Authority of India) introduced the concept of health insurance portability back in 2011. Since then, policyholders have the right to port their health insurance policies to a new insurance provider if they are not satisfied with their current one. Switching between insurers would be an ideal option if you feel that your current insurer does not provide you with sufficient coverage or is not able to provide good customer service. Read on to know 4 important things about health insurance portability.
- Benefits continuity
Some people might think that opting for a new insurer would mean suffering a new waiting period for pre-existing diseases. However, IRDAI mas made sure that this is not the case. When you shift your policy to a new health insurance provider, the benefit you have gained on the current waiting period will be passed on.
Other benefits you may have accumulated such as a no-claim bonus or free medical check-ups will also be transferred to the new health insurance policy.
It is to be noted that the waiting period credit is transferred even when the policyholder switches from one plan to another within the same health insurance company.
- Eligibility criteria
Your application for health insurance portability will be considered eligible only if the previous policy has been maintained without any breaks. If there has been a break and you have not paid the premiums for a particular policy term, the insurers have the right to decline your portability request.
Ensure you have a good premium record and provide the required information and documents correctly and on time. This increases the chances of your porting request getting approved.
- Portability process
Firstly, it is to be kept in mind that you can port your health insurance policy only during the juncture of your yearly renewal. It is not possible to port before or after that.
The process would have to begin 45 days before the renewal date. Firstly, you would have to write to the old insurer requesting a shift. You also need to contact the new health insurance company and let them know of your desire to be covered by them. The new insurance company will provide you with a proposal form, a portability form, and the brochure of various insurance products they offer. Once you have submitted the forms, the new insurer will get information regarding your claim history and medical records. Based on all the information given and their underwriting guidelines, the new insurer will take the decision whether to accept or decline your portability request. If the new insurer is unable to do the same within 15 days, they have to compulsorily accept your request.
- The sum insured stays the same or increases
When you shift your health insurance policy, the new insurer is liable to cover you for a sum insured that is equal to your previous policy, or more. The premiums will be charged accordingly.
When you change your insurer, make sure that the new health insurance company has extensive features. Ensure the insurance provider you are shifting to has a high claim settlement ratio, extensive coverage, relevant benefit policies, a large number of network hospitals, and 24/7 claim assistance support.
We hope this article has increased your understanding of health insurance policy portability.