Can We Port Health Insurance Policies?

You may have bought the best health plan and yet you may be deeply unsatisfied with the insurance provider’s services or the overall experience with the policy. To help you come out of this unhappy situation, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, IRDA, have allowed the porting of health insurance policies so that you can switch over to the best plan offered by the other insurance company of your choice. However, it is subject to certain terms and conditions.

Read on to know how it actually works and what terms you need to look at:

The Process

Once you have decided to port the policy, find out about the plan that meets your requirements and if it is better than your existing plan. After finalizing the selection, approach the concerned company at least 45 days before the expiry of the current plan. You’ll have to fill the proposal form completely without leaving any blanks and giving complete and correct information.

For any more information, the new insurer will contact the old insurer on the web portal launched by IRDA for a smooth exchange of information. As per the regulations, health insurance companies are obliged to inform the customer of the decision to accept or deny their proposal within 15 working days. In case the new insurer accepts your proposal, it will send you the proposed terms and conditions for your approval. If you agree with them, you have to pay the premium immediately to bring the new policy into effect.

However, the new insurer might ask you to undergo the medical tests again and you will have to comply with the requirements in a time bound manner to get your application accepted.

What are Your Rights And Benefits?

  • You have a right to port your policy from and to any general insurance company or a specialized health insurance company.
  • Both individual as well as family policies can be switched.
  • Porting is allowed from plan to plan or insurer to insurer.
  • Health insurance companies are mandated to provide you with the credit as far as the waiting period is concerned in regards to pre-existing diseases if you have already met the criteria with your previous insurer.
  • You will be insured for at least the same sum assured if not more as provided to you by the old insurer.
  • There is a fixed time period during which both the insurance companies have to complete the process and ensure that you don’t remain without a cover for even a single day.

What are The Terms and Conditions?

  • The policy can be switched only at the time of renewal of the old policy and cannot be done during the middle of the term.
  • You have to intimate your current insurer and the prospective insurer at least 45 days before renewal date about your plans to port and ensure that you renew the policy without any break.
  • The new policy will be issued to you subject to the terms and conditions of the new insurer and based on its underwriting process
  • You might be trying to go for the best health policy, but a lot of factors like your age, existing health condition, adverse claim history and complete/incomplete information on your application form will make an impact on the final decision of the new insurer

Even though porting is made easier by the regulator, it is not dependant only on your wish to port. The new insurer has to assess the risks involved with taking you on board and has every right to reject your claim. In short, it is applying for a new insurance policy with the benefit of not going through the waiting period clause again. However, you do have an option to choose the best health policy second time around if you were unsuccessful the first time. Make the most of it!

Harjot Singh Narula

Harjot Narula is founder and CEO of ComparePolicy.com, an IRDAI approved insurance web aggregator focussed on selling online insurance for companies. Harjot has more than a decade of experience in software development and has also spent 5 years in US working for the mortgage and risk management industry.

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