Time to port your health insurance policy

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health insurance policy

Summary: 

Health insurance portability allows a lot of freedom for the policyholders and an edge for the insurers. However, while porting, remember that the policy features of your existing plan aren’t portable. This portability feature allows you to make a smooth shift from one plan to another without any hassle. 

Health insurance portability implies the switch or shift of health insurance coverage from one insurer to another in search of the better. A portable health plan does not keep you restricted to one plan throughout the course and allows you to move out if you feel the need. 

The IRDAI introduced this provision back in 2011 that allows easy portability of your individual health plan as well as family floater plan. You must note that such portability will not lose you your existing and accumulated benefits. 

When do you need to port your health insurance?

You deserve the best out of your health insurance. When you notice slight gaps and slips in your insurance provider, you may seek to port your health insurance to a different health insurance provider. 

Optimum customer satisfaction service is one of the most significant pillars of the success of any business. If your insurance provider fails here, you may seek to leave.

If the premium value starts to increase enough to give you a pocket pinch, you can consider porting your plan. 

Each plan is designed differently, and so their levels of protection differ. In case you are dissatisfied with the rider choice or the amount of sum insured, you may consider portability, which could result in health insurance savings.

If you are offered enhanced features like comparatively lower premium amounts and, shorter duration of waiting periods, enhanced room rent ceiling, consider porting your current health plan.

Advantages of health insurance portability

Health insurance portability comes with a host of user-friendly advantages along with the fact that it keeps the insurance companies on edge to offer you the best of services and not lose their customer base and business. Some of the most highlighting advantages of health insurance portability include:

  1. Policy customisation:

Health insurance portability allows you to customise your plan to a certain extent. Here, you can make favourable changes in your plan that cater to your requirements better than your previous plan. 

2. NCB:

NCB or No Claim Bonus gets accumulated for every claim-free year on your existing plan. These benefits will be carried forward to your ported new plan, as the new insurer will incorporate this benefit in your new plan during premium calculation. 

3. Health plan benefits:

Despite making the switch, all the other benefits apart from the NCB will remain unaltered. Health insurance portability allows you to enjoy the existing benefits of your old plan along with added benefits of the ported one. 

4. Premium: 

The Indian health insurance market is currently experiencing cut-throat competition. All the competing insurance providers seek business expansion. Therefore, porting may reduce your premium amount without hampering your existing benefits. 

Disadvantages of health insurance portability

Although health insurance portability is a feasible and agreeable option, it still carries certain disadvantages too. Some of the major drawbacks of health insurance portability include the following:  

  1. Porting during renewal:

Health insurance portability is only possible near its renewal date. Amidst the course of the plan, portability is not allowed.

2. Plan alterations:

No drastic plan alterations are allowed during portability. You are only allowed to alter it up to a certain extent, depending on the insurer and the applicable provisions.

3. Extra coverage: 

For any sort of purchase of any additional coverage benefits, you must pay an enhanced premium amount. 

Procedure for porting your health insurance:

You need to follow a certain procedure to port your health insurance. It is a simple process:

  1. First, you need to fill out and sign the portability form issued by the IRDAI. You can only initiate this process only when your plan is due to renew soon. Approach the new insurer and submit them the portability form and a proposal form.
  2. Once the paperwork is done, you or your previous insurer may need to submit your medical information and claim records. 
  3. It depends on the discretion of the new insurer whether to add you as their customer or not after complete verification of all the documents and records. If they agree, they must underwrite your plan within 15 days from the date of the proposal. 

Documents required for health insurance portability:

The list of documents essential for health insurance portability includes:

  1. Identity proof,
  2. Address proof,
  3. Proposal form,
  4. IRDAI portability form,
  5. Any claim history (if applicable),
  6. Declaration of no claims (f applicable) and
  7. All documents related to previous medical history.

Checklist before porting your health plan

You need to consider certain essential factors before porting your existing health plan:

  1. Consider the policy type: While porting, you must note that one plan can be ported to a similar plan only. No drastic change of plan, coverage, or policy variant is allowed. For example, you cannot port an individual plan to a family floater plan.
  2. Duly inform your previous insurance provider: You must notify about your portability to your existing insurer in writing at least 45 days but not more than 60 days before renewal. Mention your desired future insurer, too, along with all other relevant details. 
  3. No gaps: Before informing your existing insurer, you must finalise your new plan. However, if your plan has lapsed, your portability request might be rejected. This will lead you to purchase a new plan from square one. 
  4. Additional grace period: The new insurer must inform you of their decision about your proposal within 15 days. During health insurance portability processing, you receive a grace period of 30 days. If your new insurer fails to maintain the time frame, you may still continue to stick to your old plan ensuring continuous coverage.
  5. Enhanced sum insured: During health insurance portability, you may seek to enhance your total sum insured, involving the necessary waiting period. 
  6. Premium check: Before porting, you must ensure that the premium value caters to your requirements completely. Otherwise, it will lead to financial drainage during medical contingency.
  7. Riders and coverage: Choose your riders and coverage scope well before porting. You must clarify these essential factors from at least five competing insurance companies to grab the best deal. 
  8. Waiting period: While porting your health plan, you can port your waiting period too. This implies that you need not serve the waiting period from scratch again. 
  9. Age consideration: An older individual is more prone to health risks, thereby enhancing the premium value. While porting, consider the age factor, too, as it is an important determinant of your premium value. 
  10. Medical history: A high-risk individual’s portability request is prone to get rejected. You may need to undergo certain medical tests, especially if you are above 45 years. 

Conclusion

If you are dissatisfied with your existing health plan, consider the portability of the plan considering all the pros and cons. Since health insurance is a protective shield, you deserve the best. 

Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purposes only. For further details, please refer to the policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales. 

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