How to Port My Health Insurance Policy – A Complete Guide?
Yes, you can certainly port your health insurance policy. There is no need to stick with the old policy if it’s not serving your purpose. If you find that your current medical insurance policy is costing you too much and is laced with caveats like capping on room rent, loading etc. then you should definitely think about getting a new one.
Imagine yourself in a scenario where you are stuck with a health insurance plan that does not satisfy all your needs and preferences.
Just like you port your other policies, IRDA has laid down guidelines to transfer a health insurance plan, in order to help the customers, escape from the clutches of a medical insurance policy they are not satisfied with.
When Should You Consider Porting Your Health Insurance Policy?
You might be unhappy with your current insurance company and that is why you are looking at other plans. But before deciding the one that covers all the aspects like your No-claim-bonus, sub-limits, no-room rent capping etc.
As young people are less likely to make claims, they can easily switch to another insurer and their health insurance policy would be ported instantly. If you are above 45 years of age, it is recommended that you undergo a medical test before porting your policy, even if you have a clean medical history.
In case of detection of any abnormality, you can stick to your old policy to avoid facing rejection from the new insurer and also to avoid paying an increased premium. As you would have already completed your waiting period clause, you can just get add-on covers for any new illness that might have come up- as other medical conditions would be covered by your previous insurer.
What All Can Be Ported from Your Health Insurance Policy?
All the health and general insurance companies allow portability. However, you can only get a similar policy from a different insurance company. If you are covered under a group health insurance plan, then you will have to migrate from group to an individual plan with the same provider then port out to another insurance company.
Moreover, you can port your credits accrued on No-claim-discount as well as on time-bound limitations. The policyholder has the right to port his current medical insurance from the current insurance provider to a similar plan with any other insurance company of his choice with continuity of benefits such as NCB/No-claim-bonus and the waiting period.
For instance, you decide to port your health insurance after 4 years and the new plan includes a waiting period clause of 2 years on pre-existing diseases. Since you have already covered 4 years in the last policy, the 2-year credit will be ported to the new policy, and no waiting period will be applicable to the new health policy.
Similarly, the no-claim bonus also gets transferred. For example, you have a sum insured of 3 lakh rupees and after 4 years the no-claim bonus increases the sum insured to 3.2 lakh rupees. then entire sum assured of 3.2 lakh rupees will be ported.
However, the new insurance company will charge the premium for a sum insured of 3.2 lakh rupees and not 3 lakh rupees. And you can only avail portability benefits on the previous sum assured amount i.e. 3 lakhs in this case. And if you wish to extend the sum assured amount to 5 lakhs, then in this case portability benefits will not apply on the remaining 2 lakh rupees.
In a health insurance policy, the waiting periods are of three types. One is a 30-day waiting period that is applicable immediately after purchase. Usually, health insurers do not accept any claim apart from accidental hospitalization during this period.
The other type is the waiting period on pre-existing diseases that is extendable up to 4 years. For example, if hernia is covered only after a waiting period of 2 years, then you won’t be able to make a claim until 2 years of the policy term.
And if your new health insurance policy has some extra bells and whistles, then these add-on benefits will be available to you since the beginning. However, if there are any other waiting period clauses such as maternity cover, then it will apply.
Procedure to transfer a Health Insurance Policy in easy steps
The process may vary from one health insurer to another, but usually the process that is followed is listed below:
- Firstly, send an application to the new insurance company before the end of the claiming period for your current policy.
- After filling the form, you need to fill the other forms that are required to port your policy.
- The new insurer will assess your medical history before initiating the process.
- The next step involves, passing the policy proposal through the IRDA portal as per the prescribed format.
- Once the proposal is accepted, the new insurer will frame the proposal as per their company norms.
- The last step involves processing of the proposal and then giving the final decision within the stipulated time frame.
The Flipside of Porting a Health Insurance Policy
A health insurance company can request your request for portability under the following scenarios:
- If the proposer has some chronic illness or has an adverse medical history with conditions like diabetes, hypertension etc.
- If the age of the proposer is more than 70 years.
- Upon the diagnosis of certain illnesses.
- If there is too much difference in the sum assured.
- If there is any technical issue while filing the request, lack of documents, delay in filing the request and lack of adequate information.
The insurer has the full discretion to accept or reject your request for portability. Certain insurers may deny your request or the portability might be difficult upon diagnosis of certain illnesses and if a claim is made. For this reason, is suggested that you port your policy while you are in the pink of your health.