Like many other countries, the demand for health insurance has increased significantly in India, due to which many health insurance companies have come into the market. Due to the increase in competition, every company tries to offer a health insurance plan at a the lowest possible price but the quality of services provided suffers to maintain this cost. Many customers are not satisfied with the services they receive and this is where portability comes in. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) released a special feature named Health Insurance Portability in which health insurance can be transferred from one company to another.

 

Before buying a health insurance plan, it is very important to think carefully and compare the benefits and features of insurance policies by different companies. Even with all the deliberation, you may still find yourself in a situation where you would like to switch from one company to another. For example, if your insurer suddenly increases the premium or you are not happy with any of its services, then you may decide to transfer your health insurance to another company.

Earlier, if there was a need to change the insurance company due to some reason, then you had to buy a new policy. This meant going through a waiting period for several conditions including critical illness and pre-existing diseases all over again. But since IRDAI has introduced the health insurance portability feature, the insured can change the insurer without losing any benefits. If you are thinking of changing your health insurance company, you should know all there is to know about health insurance portability.

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  1. What is health insurance portability
  2. Benefits of health insurance portability
  3. Disadvantages of health insurance portability
  4. How to apply for health insurance portability
  5. Rules of health insurance portability
  6. Process of health insurance portability

Health insurance portability is a special process with the help of which you can switch your health insurance policy from the existing company to another one. For reference, it is similar to how you change the company of your SIM card and your mobile number remains the same. The idea of ​​health insurance portability was first introduced by the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) in the year 2011.

The special thing about health insurance portability is that not only will you get better facilities from a better company but you will also not have to go through the waiting period once again. If you change your insurance company through health insurance portability, your bonus also remains unchanged. However, if group health insurance is taken, the company cannot be changed. In such a situation, you can change your plan only within that company.

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If a person is not happy with their health insurance plan, then health insurance portability can be very beneficial for them. The new health insurance plan you will opt for with the new insurance company can be for an individual or the entire family (family floater health insurance), depending on your preference. Even after the change in the company, you will continue to get the features (and benefits) you signed up for from the previous company. Also, the sum insured of your new health insurance plan may be more than the previous plan.

Apart from this, you also get some other benefits from the new health insurance plan, which include:

  • Health insurance portability comes with a special feature wherein you can make changes in your health insurance as per your needs.
  • The already existing amount is added to the no-claim bonus, thereby creating a new sum assured.
  • Whatever benefits you are getting from the old company in your health insurance plan remain applicable even after switching to the new company.
  • The most important advantage of health insurance portability is that the customer gets the right to change the company if he is not happy with the services of the company. In such a situation, companies try to offer maximum benefits at the least premium.

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Before changing your existing health insurance company, you should know the benefits but also the disadvantages of porting your insurance:

  • Whatever type of health insurance plan you have purchased, you can choose the same type of plan in future also.
  • If you want to switch from an individual plan to a group plan, you may lose some of the benefits.
  • When you decide to change the health insurance company, you have to submit the application 45 days before the renewal date.
  • The new insurer you choose may set a higher premium.
  • The health insurance policy has to be continued, as the new insurer may reject your portability application if the premium is not paid.

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An individual can apply for health insurance portability only when the existing insurance policy is about to be renewed. When the insurer receives a portability application from an insured person, the company gives an offer letter and portability form to the insured. Along with this, the insurer also informs the insured about all the features offered. After this, when the insured fills the portability form and gives it to the new insurer, then the insurer receives all the information related to the health and claim of the insured from the existing company.

The existing insurer has to submit the details within seven working days through a common data-sharing portal developed by IRDA. When the new insurer gets all the details, the company has to analyse the risks and calculate the price within 15 days. If the company is not able to do this, then it has to accept the portability application.

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If you are a health insurance holder and not happy with the services of your insurer, then you need not worry as you can change your insurance company with the help of health insurance portability. But, before doing this, you should have all the related information and now its time to go over the rules of portability, failing to follow which the new insurer may reject your portability application:

  • Informing the insurer: The insured can port his policy at any stage of his health insurance policy. This is because the term of the new health insurance starts at the same time as the new insurer. As per IRDAI rules, the insured has to inform the existing insurer about his plan 45 days before the renewal date of the insurance. 
  • Renewal: Individuals who wish to port their health insurance have to inform the existing insurer in writing at least 45 days prior to the renewal date of their insurance. He also has to inform, in writing, which company he is getting his health insurance plan ported to. It is also necessary to renew the insurance without pause. 
  • Waiting period for pre-existing diseases: If there is still a waiting period for pre-existing diseases in the original insurance, the same will have to be completed by the insurer in the new company as well. For example, if you have purchased a health insurance plan, which has a waiting period of 5 years for any pre-existing diseases and are porting after 3 years, then you will have to complete the remaining 2 years waiting period in the new company as well. However, this happens when the new insurer also has the same waiting period for that disease.
  • Grace period: When the health insurance plan is in the process of being ported, the insured gets a grace period of 30 days during this period. In such a situation, the person can also request the existing insurance provider for an extension of a few days and he has to pay the premium for the same time. The insured also has the right to continue their health insurance plan with the existing insurer.
  • Premium and bonus: The premium, bonus and many other features of the new plan of health insurance are decided by the new insurance company. People who are at higher risk of having health issues may have to pay relatively higher premiums.
  • Insured amount: Insured individuals can opt for a higher sum insured while porting the health insurance plan. However, it is accepted only if it is mentioned in the norms of the new insurer. If the sum assured cannot be increased as per the norms of the new insurer, then one can claim for the existing Sum Assured only. However, the new insurance company has to keep the sum insured as it was getting from the first company and not reduce it.
  • Acknowledge receipt: The application for portability should be accepted by the insurer within three days and till then it is kept on a waiting list. The existing health insurance plan should not be cancelled until the acceptance is confirmed by the new insurer.

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If you have gone over the advantages and disadvantages of porting your health insurance and decided to move forward then the procedure for it is as follows:

  • Fill all the forms related to health insurance portability. Double-check them to make sure that everything is filled correctly and no details are wrong.
  • Enter personal, financial and all other details correctly, as all forms of health insurance portability are also checked through the portal of IRDA.
  • After receiving all the information from your side, the company starts its own process as per its norms.
  • In the next 15 days, you will be informed if your application is accepted or rejected by the new company.
  • However, if the insurer takes more than 15 days to give its decision, then it has to accept your application in any case.

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