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Who doesn’t like to explore a better option for everything and have an option to switch everything when they get a better option. The same applies to insurance policies.

I guess everybody wants to opt for a better deal whenever they get it. And mostly about the health insurance policy, as it is the most useful insurance policy among others. There can be many reasons for switching from one insurance plan to another, but the good news is there is an option to pursue the same. The term is called portability.

Meaning of Portability in a Health Insurance Policy

To be precise, Health Insurance Portability is something that allows an insured to change its existing plan or the insurance company without losing existing benefits such as no-claim-bonus that you must be getting with the previous insurer. With this feature, you can also port from an individual health plan to a  family floater plan.

Things to Remember Before Opting Portability

As we all are aware of the fact that a health insurance policy is a vital and long term decision. So it is important to make sure about all the associated things before sticking to any health insurance plan. There are a few points that you must keep in mind. health insurance portability - pros and consHere is a list of those points penned down by PolicyX:

  • A Notice Period of 45 Days: The application for portability should be filed 45 days before the renewal date of the existing policy. 
  • The Acceptance Period of The New Insurer: When to go for health insurance portability also a matter that the insurer has to deal with. After all, it is not about the insured only, it is about the company as well. A delay in processing the portability request and you might have to renew the existing insurance plan only.
  • Underwriting Process: The new insurer may accept the applicant’s proposal only when it goes well with the underwriting norms. If (s)he has a clean history and claim-free record, the company would love to insure such candidates and might offer a low premium. 
  • Waiting Period Clause: It refers to be the best feature, this feature makes sure that you port your policy without compromising with the existing waiting period. With the same, you don't have to complete the entire waiting period. 
  • As it is the most beneficial feature of policy portability, this clause allows the policyholder to switch over to the new insurer without having to wait out entire waiting periods all over again. 
  • The Continuity of The Policy: When there is a break in the policy, it will face rejections. You must port your health insurance policy at the right time only. For a clean history, you might receive brownie points and several other benefits.
  • Medical History of The Applicant: There are a few situations where the new insurance company might reject your proposal of portability because of your pre-existing diseases or any health condition for which you might have to visit the hospital frequently. If your age is 45 then the insurance company can ask you to go for a medical test. The new insurance company might reject the application if your medical report consists of conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Applicants with a history of heart problems or renal failure, where recurrent costs are high, also fall in this group.
  • Increase in Sum Insured: At the time of portability, if you are going to choose a very high sum assured then it can alarm the new insurance company. Usually, people look to enhance their cover where they have claimed in the last policy year. Consequently, the new insurance company may think that you can even go for higher claims in the future. Additionally, for the high sum assured, the premium will be high and the complete waiting period as mentioned in the policy has to be served.
  • Age of The Applicant: Many insurance companies are reluctant to approve process the portability request of the senior citizen. The reason behind the same is that health deteriorates with the growing age. Along with the same, insurance companies who accept their application will charge high loading costs along with a co-payment clause.
  • The Choice of Premium: Just because of the low premium, many people tend to port the health insurance policy. But for the same, the insurance company might reduce the coverage. N such cases, in the long run, the insured might end up paying more for his/her needs. So before taking any final decision, check the premium and the cover as well.
  • Technical Snags: In the case where you provide wrong or incorrect information because of any reason can lead to applicants portability request. As per IRDAI, a portability request should be made at least 45 days before the date of renewal of the existing insurance policy. The new insurance company might refuse to accept your request. That is why a policyholder needs to initiate the process in advance to be on a safer side.

Also Read:- Family Health Insurance vs Family Floater Plan

General Reasons for Health Insurance Portability

Here is a list of the most common reason people think about porting their health insurance policy, penned down by PolicyX: 

  • Not good Quality
  • Unsatisfactory cover
  • Cumbersome claim settlement
  • Slow reimbursement
  • Hike in premium
  • Unclear clauses
  • Co-payment issues
  • Limitations
  • Better deals

Pros and Cons of Health Insurance Portability

Pros 

Cons

Portability comes out with the customization option. With the same, the policyholder can easily change and can modify the existing insurance policy as per his/her requirements and lifestyle.

Portability can be done near the renewal date.

To calculate the new sum assured, the existing amount would be clubbed with no claim bonus.

Customer can choose similar kinds of products only



Insurance companies normally provide existing benefits at lower premiums, because of high competition.

Normally, additional benefits can charge higher premiums.

Even after the portability, all the benefits that you are getting in an existing plan will remain in force.

Those policyholders who want to move from group plans to individual ones might have to lose some of the advantages present in the previous one.

Rules to Port Health Insurance Policy

  • Permitted Policy Types: An insured can port to the same type of policies. For example, an insured can port from a reimbursement policy to another reimbursement policy or from one top-up plan to another. Any policy, whether a family or an individual health plan, can be port into a similar policy, depending upon the terms and conditions.

  • Company Type: An insured can port his/her insurance plan from any general insurance company to another or general insurance company.

  • Renewal: Insured can take advantage of the portability feature at the time of renewal only. And it is also important to renew your health plan o time without any breaks to take advantage of the same. however, portability can be done if there is any break in the plan which is there because of the insurance company's fault.

  • Intimation: Any policyholder who wants to go for the portability option must inform the existing insurance company in writing. The same should be provided 45 days before the renewal date of the current insurance policy. 

  • Acknowledgment: Within three days, the company will inform about the portability request

  • Porting Charges: Health insurance portability does not ask for any porting charges.

  • Premiums And Bonuses: As per their specific underwriting norms, insurers are free to levy premiums. Therefore, the premiums may vary. However, those who are lying under the high-risk category may have to pay a higher premium on porting.

  • Grace Period: Applicants are eligible for a grace period of 30 days in the case where the porting is under the process. The insured has to pay the premium on a  pro-rata basis to avail of this feature. As per the IRDA guidelines, the insured cannot be forced to pay the premium of the whole year.

  • Sum Insured: Insured are allowed to go for an increase in the minimum sum insured at the time of portability. However, the approval of the same depends upon the insurance company. Also, the new insurance company ha to provide a sum assured close to the existing one or more than it.

  • The Waiting Period of Pre-existing Diseases: If the insured is going with the option of the increased cover then the waiting period associated with pre-existing diseases has to be served as per the new policy. Please note in mind that the existing waiting period would be carried forward.

Also Read:- What You Should Know About Health Insurance Portability?

Reasons To Get a Rejection on Portability Requests

Where the IRDA has given authority to customers to port their insurance policy, it also allowed the insurance company to reject applications for genuine reasons. All requests of portability will be considered as new and will go through the underwriting process. The insurance company can reject the request if the company doesn't find it appropriate. Below are a few reasons that can become the reason for rejection:-

  • Inappropriate information
  • Delayed submission of documents
  • Deficient claim history: In the case  where multiple health claims have been filed recently
  • Differences between inclusions, exclusions and several other important features 
  • Policy documents inaccessible 
  • Break-in policy renewal 

You may also like:- 13 Frequently Asked Questions on Health Insurance

Documents Required for the Portability of Health Insurance Policy

Documents Required For The Previous Insurer

Documents Required For The New Insurer

Policy certificates of the previous years

A filled proposal form

With a clear mentioned continuity, coverage,  etc. along with the latest renewal notice

A filled portability form

In no-claim cases, self-declaration by the policyholders

 

Documents of the claims filed (if any) such as discharge summary, investigation report, etc.

 

How To Port Health Insurance Policy

There are six simple steps to port a health insurance policy:

  • Step 1: As mentioned above, apply 45 days before the renewal date of the current policy.
  • Step 2: Fill the required forms associated with the portability and proposal. And then submit!
  • Step 3: The new insurer will check your details such as medical and claim history within seven days.
  • Step 4: After this, the insurance company will pass the required information via IRDA’s portal in the appropriate format for shifting the policy.
  • Step 5: When the new insurance company got the information, it will process the same further as per the underwriting norms.
  • Step 6: The new insurance company will process and offer a proposal within 15 days. But in the case where they are taking more than the framed one,  they will become bound to accept the request anyhow.

If You Summarize

With all the above-mentioned details, we conclude that the health insurance portability is an amazing yet effective option that you can use if you are not happy with the current plan or the insurer. However, the terms and conditions may differ from one company to another and the might carry some pros and cons as well. However it will be difficult for a senior citizen to port, but it does carry many pros. We suggest you research properly about your existing plan and insurer before going for portability.

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Naval Goel is the founder of PolicyX.com. He is an Associate Member of the Indian Institute of Insurance`, Pune. He has been authorized by IRDA to act as a Principal Officer of PolicyX.com Insurance Web Aggregator.
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