Want to Port Your Health Insurance Policy? Know Key Details

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Anisha Gupta has had a health insurance policy for the last five years. Lately, as the new health plans are being launched, she is drawn to those. She is worried she’ll lose credits on the waiting period and no-claim bonus (NCB).

She shouldn’t be. Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (Irdai) allows insurance portability that helps you migrate to a new insurer without losing existing credits. So, if you have served the waiting period on pre-existing diseases by two years or three years, you don’t have to start afresh in the new policy. NCB will be ported as well with some terms and conditions.

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Reading between the lines

When you port your policy to the one with a higher sum insured, the waiting period and other credits are limited to the coverage of your old policy. For example, Anisha migrates to a Rs 10 lakh cover from a Rs 5 lakh cover. She has served the waiting period already in the old policy. If she gets hospitalised for a PED, even then the treatment amount will be covered only up to Rs 5 lakh. The extra Rs 5 lakh cover will have a new waiting period as per the new insurer.

Similarly, when it comes to NCB benefits, it gets carried forward only when you are opting for a higher cover. If your existing coverage is for Rs 5 lakh with Rs 2 lakh no-claim bonus and you switch to a new policy of the same cover of Rs 5 lakh, your NCB will not get carried forward. If you opt for a Rs 10 lakh cover in the new policy, your waiting period and other credits will get applicable up to Rs 7 lakh.

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What is important to note here is that all pre-existing diseases for which you have taken the claim or not from the previous insurer must be disclosed in the proposal form of the new insurer. Otherwise, in spite of the portability, all claims will be denied on account of non-disclosure.

Why and when to port your health insurance policy

A person is more likely to port the insurance if another policy is offering advanced features or riders such as coverage of consumables, attractive wellness benefits or buyback of the waiting period, etc.

If you want to port the policy to another insurer, you must approach the new insurer 45 days from the premium renewal date, but no earlier than 60 days. Fill up and submit the portability form along with the proposal form to the new insurer. It will seek the necessary details of your medical history and claim history from your existing insurance company.

The new insurer will have to respond to you within 15 days so that if your proposal gets rejected, you still have time to renew your existing policy. You get a 30-day grace period to renew your existing policy if porting is under process. If the new insurer fails to inform you within the timeline, it will have to accept your proposal.

Portability Charges & Premium Change while porting your health policy

There are no portability charges whatsoever. If the premium changes, it can be due to other reasons like age bracket, higher sum assured, more features, etc.

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As you port your policy, make sure your new policy is better than the existing one and is forward-looking, that is, serves your future needs.

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