Not Satisfied With Your Existing Health Insurance Plan, Looking To Port 

(Heath insurance Portability –things you should know)

On Oct 2011, the insurance regulator IRDA came with a new of regulation for health insurance policy holders called Health Insurance portability which gave them more powers in their hand to enjoy full benefits from their policy who ever may be the insurer. Now if you are actually dissatisfied with your existing insurer or there is a new plan from your existing insurer or any different one which is better than the one you have you have, you always have an opportunity port your benefits to the new plan or with the new insurer. This is similar is quite similar to mobile number portability where you can actually stay with same number but you switch between different mobile operators.

What Is Health Insurance Portability?

As per definition given by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India:

“Portability means the right accorded to individual health insurance policy holders (which includes family cover) to transfer the credit gained by the insured in for pre-existing conditions and time bound exclusions if the policyholder chooses to switch from one insurer to another or from one plan to another plan of the same insurer, provided the previous policy has been maintained without any break”

Key facts about portability:

  1. Portability is applicable only in case of health insurance policies offered by non life or general insurance companies
  2. Only similar plans with similar features can be ported. Like top up can be ported to the top up of another.
  3. The benefits and the premium that you might pay in the new policy may be different. Suppose you have no capping on room rent but that can be there in the new plan.
  4. There are no porting charges being charged by the insurer but you only need to the pay the premium as per the guidelines of the plan to which you have opt to port.
  5. Though IRDA gives you an opportunity to opt for porting but it depends on the sole discretion of the insurer to accept your request or not.

How Can You Apply For Porting?

 Before you port, you should be very clear with the fact that porting is not transferring your old policy with a new insurer but it is like a new policy without any waiting period clause.  A policyholder should give a porting request with a new insurer at least 45 days before the date of the renewal of the existing policy with copies of Health Insurance Policy documents of the last 3 terms without which the insurer enjoys the full right to reject your request. The policy holders should also keep in mind that the existing policy shouldn’t have any break. A break in the policy means you should not be any situation where you have not been able to pay the premium by the time of renewal or with 30 days of grace period allowed in the policy.

 

Thing To Be Kept In Mind Before Porting:

  1. During the process of porting the new insurer has the full right to do re-underwriting and even charge an extra load on your premium which added to the base premium as per the terms of the policy and which you are bound to pay.
  2. The new policy may have sub limits, capping and co-payment options at the higher which might not be there in the existing policy. Once you have put in a porting request which means you have agreed with the terms.
  3. If you have already applied for claims in your existing policy there are higher chances that your request might get rejected.
  4. If you have cumulative bonus in the existing policy then the same would not be carried forward in the new policy. Instead an additional sum assured equivalent to bonus would be added to the new policy.

 

On receipt of the portability request from you the new insurer has to respond within 15 days of the same otherwise it would be deemed to be accepted. Before making a porting request to equally judged the benefits of both existing and new so that you don’t make wrong decisions. Another thing that need to keep in mind that not only the insurer but the policyholders also need to adhere to time lines in furnishing required documents otherwise the insurer also enjoy the full right to reject your request at any point of time 

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