Pros and Cons of Health insurance portability

Health insurance is the cornerstone of a healthy and stress-free life. It is why choosing an appropriate plan is of utmost importance. Your health insurance policy is a major factor in your overall health and wellbeing. If you feel that an insurance provider is not able to meet your expectations, then you have the option of health insurance portability. Your health insurance policy is your backup in case there of emergencies, and if you are not happy, then IRDAI has provided the option to change your insurers. Let us take a look at the underlying causes of why people opt for health insurance portability.

Why choose health insurance portability?

There are many reasons which may compel you to look at other insurers. Here are some of the reasons that you may face. 

  • Complicated claim process that leads to confusion and delay in processes. 
  • Delayed reimbursements and claim settlements.
  • Lack of transparency between the customer and the insurer.
  • A sudden and unprecedented hike in premium.
  • Better coverage with other insurers. 
  • Bad quality of service and support in case of emergencies.
  • Exclusion of certain treatments or health issues. 

These are some of the reasons why people choose a different insurance provider. 

Pros and Cons of porting the health insurance policy 

Just like every aspect, there are pros and cons of porting the health insurance policy. Here are the pros of porting a health insurance policy. 

  1. When you are porting your policy from one insurer to the other, you get the option to customize the policy as per the provisions of the new insurer. 
  2. Your no claim bonus will be carried over from the previous insurer, and the existing plan will be clubbed with that to calculate a new sum insured. 
  3. All the current benefits of your plan will still remain after you opt for portability.
  4. Scout the market for a good deal as insurance companies provide existing benefits at lower premiums. 

Here are the cons of porting your health insurance policy. 

  1. Your policy becomes applicable for health insurance portability only at the end of the validity of the policy.
  2. If you plan to add benefits or buy add-ons, then the premium automatically increases. 
  3. If you plan to change your policy from a group plan to an individual plan, then some of the benefits might reduce. 
  4. When you are porting your policy, you can choose amongst the same kind of options. This limits your options to an extent. 

Things to keep in mind when you are looking to port your policy

When you are looking to port your policy, these are things you should keep in mind. 

  1. When you are opting for portability, remember you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the new policy. You should read it carefully and check for limits, inclusions, exclusions, restrictions, and so on.
  2. Your benefits that come with the policy, like no claim bonus, lapsed waiting period, and pre-existing illnesses will be carried forward. However, features from your current policy will not be carried forward. 
  3. The application to port your policy should be filled out at least 45 days in advance. If there is a delay in processing, you may get stuck with your current policy for the whole year. 
  4. Check your new policy for hospital network and cashless transaction options. 
  5. When you are porting the policy and the premium is lesser, there is a chance the coverage is lesser. Be sure of things like copayment, sum assured, and so on when you are porting the policy. 

Health insurance portability rules

You need to keep a few rules in mind to ensure your transition from one policy to another is seamless. 

  1. If you are planning on porting your policy, you need to inform your current insurer regarding the same in a written notice at least 45 days in advance. 
  2. You can only port to another same type of policy. For example, if you have a reimbursement policy, you can only port to a reimbursement policy. 
  3. You can port your policy from any insurance company to the other. 
  4. Porting a health insurance policy is free of charge, and the only money you need to pay is the charges for the new policy. 
  5. If the application of porting is under process, a grace period of 30 days is granted to the insured. However, the insured has to pay a premium on a pro-rata basis. 
  6. You can ask for a rise in the sum assured, but it depends entirely on the new insurance company if they want to grant you the same. 
  7. If the insured is opting for an increased cover, then the person has to serve a waiting period as per the new insurance policy. 
  8. The company will inform you regarding the status of your portability request within 3 working days. 

Health insurance portability should be taken seriously as the features and benefits affect you directly. Whenever you are opting for portability, don’t forget to go through all the documents carefully. 

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