When it comes to health insurance, IRDAI has made the customer the king. With health insurance portability, you can carry forward your benefits accrued from Insurer A to Insurer B.
What this simply means is – if you are unhappy with your current insurer, you can port (not just transfer) your policy to another insurer. Where earlier transferring meant being tagged as a new policyholder, now you can transfer credits for pre-existing conditions. This is applicable not only when you switch between two insurers but also between two plans by the same insurer.
The procedure of portability is a simple do-it-yourself task. The application form to port your health insurance policies should reach Insurer B, 45 days before to the last date of renewal of your existing policy.
Once you receive the proposal from Insurer B, select the product that matches your needs and submit the form to Insurer A.
Insurer A is bound to provide all the details to Insurer B within 7 working days. Once Insurer B receives the information, it is obliged take a decision within 15 days.
Word of Caution
- Insurer B is allowed to decide premiums based on its underwriting norms. This means the premiums you pay could be higher even for a similar cover.
- Your request can be denied if there was a break in the policy – ensure you port your policy before the expiration of your existing one. If your acceptance is still pending on the last day of renewal, you could request your existing policyholder to extend your coverage.
- Waiting period levied by Insurer B can be different compared to Insurer A even for the same disease. In addition, terms and conditions vary from insurer to insurer; confirm the inclusions and exclusions in the policy before you make the decision to port.
If you are a part of a group health insurance by Insurer A, you will have to switch to an individual plan from the same insurer and apply for portability to Insurer B only after one year.