If you're a fitness freak, a good workout is all your body craves - after a long day at work. Whether it's a light jog or an intense session, you'll find that the feeling of accomplishment is rewarding. To make sure you stay on track, set a goal and stick to it - a gym membership is all you need. You need to pay your fee upfront to enjoy access to the gym's resources for a set period of time. And, these memberships must be renewed when they expire - so you can continue to access gym amenities and services.
The same applies to health insurance as well. A health insurance plan covers a wide range of medical expenses, such as hospitalisation costs, medicine costs, tests, doctor consultations, and much more. And, renewing your health insurance policy is essential to ensuring that you remain protected against any potential medical emergencies and their associated costs.
A common question lingering in people's minds is: "Do health insurance policies need to be renewed every year?"
Well, let's find out -
First, What Is Health Insurance Renewal?
Each insurance plan comes with a certain validity, after which it is no longer active. You are no longer eligible to enjoy the plan’s benefits after this defined period. When it comes to health insurance, it will be your responsibility to cover all your medical expenses once this period expires. In order to keep the policy active and continue utilising its benefits, you must renew it on time. During renewal, the insurance company will inform you about the premium you need to pay. You need to pay the same for the renewal to take effect.
Do You Need To Renew Your Health Insurance Policy Every Year?
The validity of each policy may vary, and whether you need to renew it every year depends on the same. The health insurance plan may have an expiration date, like 1 year, 2 years, or 3 years, after which it must be renewed. In the event that you fail to renew your policy on time, it will expire. Following this, the insurers give you another opportunity to renew your policy during the grace period. If you do not renew it within the grace period, your policy will lapse and all benefits will be lost.
Note: Insurance companies generally notify you when your plan needs to be renewed. To ensure that you do not miss out on the renewal date, it is sent 30 or 45 days prior to the due date.
How Do You Renew Your Health Insurance Plan?
You can renew your health insurance policy either online or offline.
If you want to renew your health insurance policy offline, you can either contact your insurance agent or financial advisor or visit the insurance company's branch office in person and renew the policy. Next comes the payment part. Depending on the insurer, payment methods for health insurance renewal may vary. You can either pay the amount via checks, DDs, cards, UPI, etc.
Renewing your health insurance policy online is easy and simple as you can do it from the comfort of your home. For online renewal, you can visit your insurer's website and check the health insurance renewal section. Here, you may have to enter details like your policy number, registered mobile number, etc. After you enter the details, you can check the renewal premium amount you’ll need to pay and then proceed to make the payment - as instructed on the insurer’s website.
Some insurers may also send you a renewal email or SMS before your plan expires. The email or SMS will contain the policy renewal payment link. You can renew your plan by clicking on the link and making the payment.
Please note that both online and offline renewal processes might vary for different insurance companies.
Things To Consider While Renewing Your Health Insurance Plan
When renewing health insurance, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some of them -
You Can Upgrade Your Plan’s Cover Amount
When you renew your health insurance plan, you need to evaluate the policy's coverage, benefits, features, etc. And, sum insured is essentially one of the critical aspects to consider at renewal time. It should be evaluated and upgraded appropriately to ensure that it provides you with the protection you need.
As your healthcare needs increase, you will need a larger amount to deal with these requirements and compensate for health emergencies. Furthermore, according to data from the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), urban health inflation went up from 9.12% in January 2022, to 11.64% in March.
Rising medical inflation leads to an increase in healthcare costs, which calls for large coverage as well. Hence, to ensure you and your family are secure, it is essential to keep your sum insured up-to-date with the changing healthcare landscape.
You Have The Option To Port Your Policy
Whenever you renew your policy, you have the opportunity to port it i.e., move your policy to another policy with another insurance company. However, porting of a policy is recommended only -
By porting your current policy to another policy of your choice, you can continue to enjoy the benefits like waiting period credit, No Claim Bonus, etc. that you've already accumulated. This means you can switch to a new insurer without having to start from scratch. However, before porting, you need to conduct thorough research and check all the plans available in the market.
Most importantly, you need to remember that portability is only available during renewal. In order to apply for portability, you will need to notify your current insurance provider 45 days before the renewal date.
You Have The Option To Customise Your Plan With Riders/Add-Ons
Health insurance gives you the opportunity to tailor it according to your needs. You can customise it by adding riders during policy renewal at a certain extra cost. Riders/add-ons are additional benefits that are primarily designed to widen your base coverage. There are a variety of health insurance add-ons, such as room rent waiver, critical illness rider, consumables cover, maternity cover, etc. Depending on your requirements, you can choose add-ons accordingly.
For instance, non-medical expenses or consumables such as masks, gloves, etc. may usually not be covered by a standard health insurance policy. You can opt for a separate rider to take care of such non-medical expenses.
You Should Keep A Track Of The Updated T&Cs Of The Policy
Insurers have the right to update or change the terms and conditions of the policy as and when necessary. But, they are permitted to do that only with the prior approval of the IRDAI. It is also important that any changes must be informed to you 90 days prior to renewal. However, as a policyholder, it is your responsibility to make sure you review it from your end as well. This way, you can ensure that you are up to date with the policy terms and conditions.
Pro Tips To Avoid Missing Your Health Insurance Renewal.
You may receive a notification or a reminder via email or SMS regarding the renewal from your insurer. Hence, ensure you check your email or SMS every now and then - so you don’t miss out on the renewal date.
You can also set a reminder on your personal gadget. In order to keep track of your upcoming renewal, mark the day you bought the insurance policy and set a reminder for the expiration date (or a few days before).
Health insurance policies are designed to cover medical expenses for you and your family. By investing in a health insurance policy, you can make sure that any unexpected medical expenses are taken care of promptly. To ensure that you remain covered always, it is important to renew your health insurance policy on time. So, stay on top of policy renewal dates to ensure holistic coverage and reap other benefits.