What does ‘Health Insurance Portability’ mean?
Health Insurance policy holders, who are not satisfied with the services of the present provider, will be able to switch/change their service provider without losing the basic coverage of health insurance.
As per IRDA portability rules, consumers will get credit for the time already spent for covering the pre-existing disease along with bonus accrued to him from his past insurer.
What all benefits you can shift under ‘Health Insurance Portability’?
Health Insurance Portability allows you to shift from one health insurance provider to another, without having to lose any of the benefits that your current health insurer provides. It includes –
1. The credit from the waiting period already completed can be carried forward to the new insurer.
2. Any bonus accrued to him (insured) from his past insurer.
3. The new insurer will provide some cover, at least up to the cumulated sum assured in the old insurance policy.
What happens if the customer applies to the new insurer does not have a similar policy?
If the new insurer does not have a similar policy, the policyholder will have to purchase one with a higher sum assured. Suppose a person with insurer A has a sum insured of Rs 3 lakh. When he shifts to insurer B. However, if insurer B has no product offering Rs 3 lakh as sum insured, he will have to offer the nearest higher slab of, say, Rs 4 lakh. While the premium will be charged on Rs 4 lakh, the portability benefits will be limited to Rs 3 lakh.
What happens if the customer applies for an increased sum insured in the new ported policy?
If the customer has a policy of sum insured of Rs. 4 Lakhs, and now he/she wants to port the policy to another insurance company with a higher sum insured of Rs. 10 Lakhs. The portability relief in waiting periods in the new policy would only be to the extent of Rs. 4 Lakhs sum insured. The waiting periods for the additional sum insured of Rs. 6 Lakhs would similar to a fresh policy.
What happens if the customer has holding an old policy for two years (which has waiting period for pre-existing conditions for 4 years)?
The policyholder will be able to carry over the waiting period with respect to pre-existing ailments. The waiting period for most pre-existing conditions is four years. So, say, the person wants to shift after a year itself. His waiting period for the pre-existing ailment will be three years with the new insurer.
I have bought a policy of sum insured of 2 lakh, a few years back and have cumulative bonus of Rs. 50,000; what would be the new sum insured after porting the policy to new insurer – 2 lakh or 2.5 lakh?
It would be 2.5 Lakh. For example – A person with insurer ‘X’ has a sum insured of Rs 2 lakh and cumulative bonus of Rs 50,000. When he shifts to insurer ‘Y’ his sum insured will automatically beRs 2.5 lakh. However, if insurer ‘Y’ has no product offering Rs 2.5 lakh as sum insured, it will have to offer the nearest higher slab of, say, Rs 3 lakh. While the premium will be charged on Rs 3 lakh, the portability benefits will be limited to Rs 2.5 lakh.
I have a health insurance policy from life insurer e.g. LIC; can I switch my policy under ‘Health Insurance Portability’?
Currently, Health insurance portability will be limited ONLY to non-life insurers .
I am currently covered under Group Health Insurance Policy of my company; can I switch my policy under ‘Health Insurance Portability’?
Currently portability will be allowed ONLY to individual health policies, which also includes family floater policies. For policyholders covered under Group Health Insurance policy first have to shift to individual health insurance to same insurer (from where they are covered under group policy) then in future they can port their policy to new insurer.
What things one need to watch out for?
The following are some of the conditions for which you should watch out, while switching your health insurance policy –
1. Maximum renewable age – Certain policies do not let you renew them after you reach a certain age.
2. Exclusions – Not all policies are same; certain exclusions are there in each policy. Check each one of them before you should switch.
3. Moving job – If you are moving jobs, then you can take advantage of portability.
4. Not all benefits continue – Not all policies are same; so check that all benefits that you are looking for are there in new policy.