What is Health Insurance portability? And How is it Useful?

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Health Insurance portability is a facility introduced by the IRDA in 2011, wherein a policyholder can transfer the credit gained for pre-existing conditions and time-bound exclusions while switching from one Health Insurance plan to another. The Health Insurance portability feature also allows policyholders to retain continuity benefits such as no-claims bonus and free medical check-ups accumulated with the previous policy. As per IRDA laws, all Medical Insurance policyholders can avail portability as long as the previous policy was renewed without any breaks.

How to avail Health Insurance portability?

In order to avail this facility, a policyholder needs to approach the chosen Health Insurance company at least 45 days before the renewal date of the existing policy. In case the policyholder fails to do so, it is up to the insurer to accept the request for portability or no. Once a Health Insurance company receives an application for portability, the insurer will offer a portability form and a proposal form along with all the details of various products offered by it. After the policyholder submits the filled in forms, the insurance company will obtain the claim history and medical records from the previous insurer. The previous insurer will furnish the details within seven working days through a common data sharing portal developed by IRDA. Once, the new insurer acquires all the details from the existing insurer, the new Health Insurance policy will be issued to the policyholder.

The Insurer’s Rights

As per the IRDA regulations, all policyholders are empowered with the right of portability, similarly, insurers also reserve the right to reject any port-in requests. All new Health Insurance porting applications are treated as new and are subject to scrutiny by the underwriter. The underwriter assesses the risks and sets the health insurance premium accordingly. In case the insurer rejects the proposal, the policyholder will have no other option but to continue with the existing insurance provider.

How is Health Insurance portability useful?

Health Insurance portability is an advantageous facility for those who are not satisfied with the benefits offered by their existing insurance provider. Thanks to portability, a policyholder is free to switch to the best Health Insurance plans available in the market at that point in time, without losing out on any of the continuing benefits like NCB.

Conditions for Health Insurance Portability

  • A policyholder can apply for portability only at the time of policy renewal.
  • The application for Health Insurance portability must be submitted 45 days before the policy renewal date.
  • The new insurer may choose to set a higher premium.
  • If the existing Health Insurance policy is not in continuation, the new insurer may reject the portability due to the failure of premium payment.

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