Purchasing a health insurance policy is a necessity that acts as a financial backup to help in case medical treatment is required. With sedentary and poor lifestyle choices, there is a rise in lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart problems, blood pressure, and cancer. These may require a longer treatment which can be thwarted due to a lack of finances. Health insurance not only just protects your hard-earned money but also allows you to choose the best treatment without worrying about hospital bills.
But what if you are not happy with your health insurance policy? What if your present insurer does not cover all your needs? Or after buying the policy, you come across a far better policy? The good news is you do not have to stick to an insurance provider if you are not satisfied. As per IRDAI, every policyholder has the right to switch their health insurance to a different provider. With an insurance portability cover, you get to transfer the accumulated coverages, no claim bonus as well as the waiting period too!
Porting a health insurance policy
There are several reasons why you may want to port your health insurance policy. You may be unsatisfied with the current provider or you may be getting a better plan somewhere else. A health insurance portability cover allows you to switch your insurer along with all the accrued benefits. But while you may have this service allowed, you must also need to take into some important factors!
Factors to consider when porting health insurance policy
- Medical history: A porting request can sometimes be rejected if you have a pre-existing health condition that may require hospitalization soon. A history of heart or kidney issues, renal failure, etc. may also lead to policy port rejection since the recurrent costs can be high.
- Waiting period: A health insurance policy may have different types of waiting periods. There is a waiting period for a specific disease, a waiting period for pre-existing conditions, and an initial waiting period. In case you want to port your policy after a certain tenure, often two years, you may not need to wait for an initial waiting period of one month. These terms may vary from insurer to insurer and hence, must be verified and considered before making the switch.
3. Sum insured: At the time of porting the insurance policy, applying for a higher sum insured may not be a good idea. This is because people often apply for a higher sum insured when they have a health emergency expected or have made a claim. This would need you to complete a waiting period again. Hence, do consider twice before applying for a higher sum insured when porting the health insurance policy.
4. Age of the policyholders: Many health insurance porting requests are rejected because of age. This is because health can deteriorate with age. Your new insurance provider may be reluctant to offer a policy or may offer the same sum insured at a higher premium amount.
- Premium to be paid: Many people switch their insurance policies due to the high premiums they are paying. But when you are looking for a new health insurance policy that comes with a lesser premium amount, you also risk losing the coverage. This can lead to paying out of pocket at the time of claim. Hence, before you select the insurance policy, do keep in mind the premium as well as the coverage and other benefits.
- Keeping the previous insurer informed: This is a vital step, yet often missed out by many policyholders. The previous policyholder must be informed before you shift the policy. The same must also be done at least 45 days prior to the date of renewal and should be done in writing. You must also mention the new insurer you are shifting to along with other details as needed. The same will be acknowledged by your present health insurance company within 72 hours.
- Ensuring there are no gaps: A portability cover can only be used if you are porting your health insurance at the time of renewal. Since the current insurer has to be informed well in advance, the policy must be decided much before. So, do not wait till the last moment to make the switch.
Additionally, in case the policy gets lapsed, the porting request may get rejected and you would need to purchase a new insurance policy. This would make you lose all the accumulated benefits over the past years including no claim bonus, waiting period etc.
- Increased sum insured: In a general scenario, when you are porting a health insurance policy, it is the responsibility of your new insurance provider to offer you a sum insured that is the same as your present policy or more than that. Hence, keep in mind that you do not opt for anything lesser than that.
- Premium and add-ons: People also port their health insurance for better coverage or more benefits than existing ones. For instance, if you are looking for maternity coverage and it is not offered by your current insurance provider, you may consider switching to an insurance provider that offers it.
10. Type of policy: When you decide to port your health insurance policy, it is also important to remember that you can switch to only a similar kind of policy. You cannot change the type of coverage or plan when using a health insurance portability cover. This means you cannot switch from an individual health plan to a family insurance policy. Yet, you must check the coverages, inclusions, and exclusions thoroughly.
A health insurance policy is important to secure your finances in case of unexpected illnesses. It helps you safeguard your savings and allows you to get the best possible treatment. But, if you are not happy with your present policy, it may be time to make the change. While it is fairly easy to port health insurance nowadays, it is essential not to be hasty and keep these factors in consideration to ensure the best coverage possible.
Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purposes only. For more details, please refer to the policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales