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Right Time to Port Health Insurance Policy

Shraddha has had her current mobile number from a leading mobile service provider for 15 years. All her personal and professional contacts have this number of hers. She has been satisfied with the service. However, recently the service has degraded drastically. It’s time to port to a different mobile operator. It could be time for porting your health insurance too.

You Can Port Your Health Insurance Policy

Did you know that, like mobile operators, you can port your health insurance too? Of course, the process is more involved than porting mobile operators. IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India), the insurance regulator in India, allows porting health insurance policies amongst health insurance companies.

However, IRDAI has laid down some guidelines, terms and conditions for the process. These need to be adhered to while porting health insurance from one insurance company to another.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

Health insurance is typically a long term relationship with your insurance company. If you have issues with certain aspects of your policy, try talking to your insurer. The chances are that they might offer to resolve or compensate for the problem from their side. If the solution is workable and addresses your issues and concerns, consider staying with your insurer.

Indemnity Plans versus Defined Benefit Plans

Indemnity Plan

An Indemnity plan reimburses your hospitalisation expenses.

Defined Benefit Plan

A defined benefit plan pays a fixed sum if a defined event occurs.

An indemnity plan from one insurer can be ported to an indemnity plan from another insurer. However, an indemnity plan cannot be ported to a defined benefit plan.

Defined benefit plans cannot be ported across insurance companies

Valid Reasons to Move On

However, sometimes the issues with the current insurer are systemic and cannot be resolved. Here are some sound reasons for porting health insurance policies:

  • Network hospitals in your area have considerably reduced
  • Coverage of certain ailments and procedures is not up to your expectations
  • Customer support is lacking considerably in terms of promptness to answer your questions
  • Premium they are charging is too high against the services that they are offering
  • Another insurer has a policy with much more benefits than yours
  • insurer refuses to increase your cover

Make Sure the new insurer Addresses your Concerns

In cases like the above, you should consider porting to another insurer. Look for an insurer that addresses your current concerns about specific aspects of the policy. Talk to them to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the enhanced coverage.

Timing the Move

Porting health insurance may not be as simple as porting mobile operators. There are a lot of factors, rules, regulations and guidelines to consider. Time your move right to make the most of it.

After Making a Claim

Most insurers offer a no claims bonus if you have not made a claim that year. However, if you have made a claim, it is a good time to move insurers. This is because there is no loss of the no claims bonus in this case.

At least 60 to 45 Days before Expiry of the Current Policy

IRDAI mandates that porting health insurance should be carried out 45 days before the current policy expiry. Start the process well before that. At least 60 days before the expiry date is a reasonable starting point.

What Happens Next?

The new insurer sends a request to the existing insurer for your medical and claims history. They will then evaluate your application and assess the health risk. 

While most insurers are happy to onboard customers, they don’t need to do so.

After all, health insurance is the business of taking on health risks for a profit. The new insurer may reject the porting request. Typically, new insurers may reject porting requests for the following concerns:

Pre-Existing Conditions

If the new insurer finds pre-existing conditions that necessitate frequent procedures, they may decide to decline.

Age

Health risk increases with age. The insurers may decline porting requests for older applicants.

Porting Health Insurance is Time-Bound

The new insurer has to acknowledge your health insurance porting application within three working days. They also have to convey acceptance or denial within 15 days. If they fail to do so, the policy is deemed to be ported to the new insurer.

In Conclusion

Good health insurance is a sound solution to mitigate the risk of sudden, unplanned medical expenses. It is heartening to know that you may be able to port your health insurance policies.

However, first, be sure that your purpose will be served by porting. Understand that there is a chance that the new insurer may reject your application. Make sure the new insurer will deliver significant benefits over your current insurer. Start the process well in advance and certainly 45 days before the current policy expiry. 

Go ahead only when you are fully convinced about the soundness of your reasons for porting.

Read about All you need to know about porting and migrating your health insurance


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