As a customer, it is an obvious expectation that a product/service you buy should meet your expectations. If you feel that your experience is unsatisfactory, you usually shift to a new brand and a new product/service.
Let’s take a small example to understand this. Say you have a Wi-Fi connection from company ABC. It had superb reviews and worked great initially. After a few months, the Wi-Fi speed didn’t match up to the plan you opted for and you faced frequent outages as well. On top of that, company ABC didn’t provide you with a resolution to your problem. So, you decide to move to another Wi-Fi company and a new plan that has better customer service and ratings.
You can also do this with your health insurance plan. You can shift to another insurance company and a new plan if you’re dissatisfied with your current insurer or plan - through a process known as portability.
What Is Portability?
There are chances that you get dissatisfied with your health insurance. This may be because your current policy has become too expensive, or you have found a new plan with better features and benefits, etc.
Portability in health insurance is the process of moving your current health insurance plan to a new plan offered by a different insurance company.
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Advantages of Porting Your Policy
Initial waiting period: No claims can be made during the first 30 days of policy purchase for any health conditions, except accidents.
Pre-existing disease waiting period: A pre-existing disease is a medical condition that was diagnosed/treated within 4 years before purchasing the policy. PEDs come with a waiting period of 2 to 4 years.
- Specific disease/procedure waiting period: Insurers provide a list of specific medical conditions, such as hernia, spinal disorders, chronic kidney disease, etc., that have a waiting period of up to 2 to 4 years.
Note: The waiting periods can vary across insurers and products.
The best part about portability is that you don’t have to serve the waiting periods all over again - as opposed to buying a new plan. You will continue to enjoy uninterrupted coverage. This is especially useful if you have any pre-existing or chronic health conditions and are seeking medical treatment for them.
For example, Diya has a history of asthma and was diagnosed with it in 2020. She bought a health insurance plan in 2021. The insurance company considered asthma as a pre-existing disease and imposed a waiting period of 2 years. In 2023, she finds a better health insurance plan with another insurance company. It offers her enhanced coverage at the same cost. She decides to port her current policy to the new plan. And, she won’t have to undergo another waiting period for asthma, since she had already completed the 2-year waiting period under her previous plan. She can now enjoy coverage for any asthma-related treatments without any hiccups.
You Can Retain All Your Accrued Benefits
With portability, you can also transfer the benefits you’ve accrued under your current health insurance plan to the new plan, like the No-Claim Bonus, which is essentially a reward you get from your insurer for not making any claims during a policy year in the form an increased sum insured or decreased premium. This accrued No Claim Bonus will be carried forward to your new health insurance plan if your port your policy.
How Can You Port Your Health Insurance?
Follow these simple steps to port your health insurance policy from your current insurer to another –
- When you decide to port your policy to a new insurance provider, you need to inform the insurer at least 45 days before your renewal date.
- You will then have to fill out and submit a portability form, proposal form, etc. Make sure you fill all forms accurately and inform the insurer about any pre-existing diseases, health history, and lifestyle choices.
- You also need to inform your new insurer about any claims that you made with your previous insurer.
- The insurer will then check your details and evaluate your application for porting the policy.
- Based on the evaluation and the risk you pose to the insurer, your application will either be processed or rejected. The insurer will have to respond to your application within 15 days of time. Else, your application will automatically be ported to the new health insurance plan.
Documents Required To Port Your Health Insurance Plan
Your insurer will require you to provide the following documents when porting your policy -
- Identity Proof
- Address Proof
- IRDAI Portability Form
- Proposal Form
- Insurance Policy
- Claim History (if applicable)
- Documents Related to Medical History
Note: This is just an indicative list of the documents you need to submit. You may be asked for more documents, depending on the insurer.
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Porting health insurance can be a useful option if you wish to switch your policy to a new insurer without losing the accrued benefits. By allowing you to transfer the policy from one insurer to another, portability gives you greater flexibility and control over your healthcare coverage.