You can happily port your health insurance policy Rohit was not happy with their existing health insurance service provider as there was a hike in the premium for three year old policy and decided to port it to the new insurer. However, he was worried that the new insurer will treat him as fresh policyholder and impose a waiting period for the pre-existing diseases. But, IRDAI guidelines on health insurance policies portability terms and condition ensures that Rohit was able to switch to the new insurance provider without having to lose the benefits being accumulated with the previous insurance provider. A pre-existing condition is any disease that the policyholder has to wait for to get incorporated in the plan within 48 months prior to purchase of the health insurance policies.
Portability of health insurance policies was introduced by IRDAI in 2011. It makes possible for a policyholder to transfer his or her policy from existing insurer to the new one along with the same plans and benefits. The insured is entitled to continue benefits like No-Claim Bonus, free medical check-ups, etc. being accumulated during the previous policy term. With the new law, every policyholder has the right of portability provided the previous policy is maintained without any breaks. In order to avail this facility, the policyholder has to apply to the insurance company, where he or she wishes to port the policy, atleast 45 years before the renewal of the existing policy. If they fail to do so, then it depends upon the insurer to consider the application for portability or not.
Once the insurance company receives an application from a policyholder about the plan portability, it will provide the latter with a proposal form, a portability form, and details of various products offered by it. After the insurance company receives the filled in forms, it will obtain the medical records and claim history from the existing insurer. Existing Insurer must furnish the details within 6 to 7 working days. Once the new insurer obtains all the details, it will have to take a decision within a fortnight to port the policy or not. If it fails to do so, it will be bound to accept the application. • Things to Consider • The terms and condition of the policy will differ from insurer-to-insurer. The policyholder will have to weigh those factors before making the switch. People in the ‘high-risk’ category may also end up paying more premium during the process.
People usually purchase health insurance policies when they are younger. It’s easier and hassle-free because even insurance companies prefer covering the young and the healthy. Therefore, portability will be difficult later in life since a new insurer will not be willing to risk covering an elderly citizen. The Insurer’s Rights While the IRDA has empowered all policyholders with the right of portability, it has also given insurers the right to reject any port-in requests. All requests for portability are treated as new and are subject to scrutiny by the underwriter. The underwriter assesses the risk exposure in order to determine the premium that needs to be charged. The insurer can reject the proposal if it’s deemed unfavorable. In that case, the policyholder will have no other option but to continue with the existing insurance provider.
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