With health problems on rise in India, it has become very essential for a person to buy a health insurance policy to protect his/her family from financial turmoil. But the quality of service provided by the insurers on the other hand is very bad resulting in unhappiness amongst the policy holders. Considering this situation, in 2011, Insurance regulatory and development authority of India (IRDA) passed a regulation on health insurance portability. This allows policy holder to transfer health insurance to another company of his/her choice and at the same time retain all the benefits as follows:
- Waiting Period: Suppose you have purchased a policy which covers pre-existing ailments after 3 years. And 1 year after renewing the policy, you decide to switch to another company where waiting period is 2 years. Then your waiting period in the new company will be 1 year only. And this transfer to the new company will not carry any additional premium and conditions. Read more on medical insurance for pre-existing diseases.
- No-claim bonus: Similar to the waiting period, your no claim bonus and credit earned can also be ported. Check out insurance for angioplasty.
- Application for porting health insurance from one company to another should be made at least 45 days before the renewal date of existing policy.
- Policy holder should correctly fill and submit the portability form available on IRDA website – ww.irda.gov.in
- Company will then send your portability form and all the policy related documents on the IRDA website.
- Other documents include all the previous policies, claim experience, proof of age and others. If any other documents are required then the new company will contact you.
In what cases, health insurance portability request will be denied:
- Premium not paid i.e. there is no break in the existing policy.
- The existing policy was newly purchased.
- Portability application is made.
- Transfer is requested during the policy term. As per rule, switching is possible only at the time of renewal.
When should you switch to a new insurer?
- Unhappy with existing insurance company. This can be due to various reasons such as hidden fees, higher premiums charged without any intimation, your previous claim was rejected even when all details submitted were 100% accurate, tedious claim process and many others.
- Beneficial features are available at the new insurer such as – low premium with more coverage, network hospital list is big, and claim process is fast and many others.
- When you are relocating to another city where network hospitals are less.
- Changed the job
Tips before you transfer medical insurance to another company:
- Read all the terms and conditions of the new company and then decide. Don’t just look at premium cost. New company will have its own rules and can also demand higher premium.
- Check claim settlement ratio.
- Opt for a company which offers good customer support.