What if you are not satisfied with your existing health insurance premium, feature or service of an insurance company?
The simple answer is to use the Health Insurance Portability option. Health Insurance Portability is a provision given by the IRDA that allows health insurance policyholders to switch their policy from one insurer to another while retaining the benefits. Hence when you change your health insurance policy from one insurance company to another, you don’t have to lose the benefits you have accumulated. In the past in health insurance policies, such a move resulted in your losing benefits like the waiting period for covering "Pre-existing Diseases". Now IRDA protects you by giving you the right to port your policy to any other insurer of your choice. It has laid down that your new insurer “shall allow for credit gained by the insured for pre-existing condition(s) in terms of waiting period”. This applies not only when you move from one insurer to another but also from one plan to another with the same insurer.
Health Insurance Portability is allowed to all individual, family floater and group health insurance products. However, in case of group health insurance portability, you can’t move from one insurance company to another. Instead, you can port it within the same insurance company.
As per the IRDAI’s circular on Portability, following are some of the Rights and Conditions of Portability:
- You can port your policy from and to any general insurance company or standalone / specialised health insurance company
- You can port any individual/ family policies
- Your new insurer has to give you the credit relating to waiting period for pre-existing conditions that you have gained with the old insurer
- Your new insurer has to ensure that the new insurance plan offers a sum insured atleast up to the sum insured under the old policy
- The two insurers should complete the porting as per the timelines prescribed in the IRDA (Protection of Policyholders’ Interests) Regulations and guidelines
- You can port the policy only at the time of renewal. That is, the new insurance period will be with the new insurance company
- Apart from the waiting period credit, all other terms of the new policy including the premium are at the discretion of the new insurance company
- If there is a break in existing policy, then you are not eligible for porting
- At least 45 days before your renewal is due you have to
- Write to your old insurance company requesting a shift
- Specify company to which you want to shift the policy
- Renew your policy without a break (there is a 30 day grace period if porting is under process)
IRDAI has created a web-based facility to get and maintain data about all health insurance policies issued by insurance companies to individuals so that it can be accessed by the new company to which a policy holder wishes to port his policy. This enables the new insurer to obtain data on history of health insurance of the policyholder wishing to port his policy.