All you need to know about porting your health insurance policy
Most of us purchase health insurance policies as a financial backup to afford medical treatments at any point in our life. Moreover, our sedentary and changing lifestyle has led to a rise in several diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart attack, etc which requires long-term treatment and hence a regular drain to our financial resources at a time when medical treatments are becoming more and more expensive due to medical inflation.
Health insurance not only protects your hard-earned savings by covering the expenses but also enables you to avail best medical treatment and care with peace of mind as we don’t have to worry about hefty hospital bills. But are you satisfied with the health insurance policy you are currently having? Sometimes a big no, when we find that the current insurer is charging more premium and providing less services than its competitor. So can we port our health insurance policy to that competitor without being in any disadvantage just like we port our mobile numbers?
Yes. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) provisions, introduced in 2011, allow you to port your individual/family floater health insurance policies, and you don’t have to lose the benefits you have accumulated like in past when such a move resulted in your losing benefits like the waiting period for covering “pre-existing diseases.”
The insurance regulator protects you by giving you the right to port your policy to any other insurer of your choice. It not only “allows for credit gained by the insured for pre-existing condition(s) in terms of waiting period” but also protects your credit when you move from one plan to another with the same insurer. Please keep in mind that the new insurer is not duty-bound to insure you, this totally depends on his underwriting criteria.
What can you port?
The IRDA provisions say you can port credits on time-bound exclusions and no-claim bonus. The new insurer is bound to give you the credit relating to the waiting period for pre-existing conditions that you have gained with the old insurer, if he accepts your proposal. Do keep in mind that the features of your existing policy are not portable.
You can port only to the extent of the sum insured (including no-claim bonus) with the previous insurer. He will have to insure you at least up to the sum insured under the old policy. For example, if you have medical insurance of ₹5 lakh, but while porting to a new insurer, you want to enhance the sum insured to ₹10 lakh, the porting benefits will apply for only ₹5 lakh plus bonuses, if any.
How to port the policy
Notifying the insurer. You will have to apply for portability at least 45 days before the expiry of the current policy (and not before 60 days).
Specify the insurer (company) to which you want to shift the policy.
Fill up the portability form with existing insurance details, including the name and age of the insured.
Fill up the proposal form with complete details for the new insurer.
Submit the essential documents.
The essential data will be furnished on the IRDAI web portal. The new insurer will have to inform you within 15 days so that if he rejects your proposal, you still have time to renew your existing policy (there is a 30 day grace period if porting is under process). If the new insurer fails to inform you within time, he will be bound to accept the application.