Everything you need to know about Health Insurance portability.

We often make the wrong choices in life. Sometimes we think we have made the right choice but soon enough we find out otherwise. There are some mistakes we cannot make right, but luckily we can change our health insurance policies if we are getting a better offer or if the present premiums grow out of our budgets. This is called portability of your health insurance policy.

The IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) introduced health insurance portability in 2011. Through portability, a policy holder can carry forward the credits accrued for pre-existing conditions along with time bound exclusions while switching from one insurance provider to another or from one health insurance plan to another.

The policy holder also qualifies for getting all continuity benefits, like free medical checkups and no claim bonus which were acquired during the previous insurance policy.

Under the health insurance portability scheme, a policy holder can port a policy (individual or family) from a general insurance policy to a specialised health insurance provider and vice versa. The new insurer is liable to provide the policy holder of at least the sum insured under the previous policy. Plus the new insurer is also liable to provide the credit rating associated with the pre-existing conditions that the policy holder had already accrued with the previous insurer. Both the previous and the new insurers are liable to complete the process of porting within the stipulated timeline prescribed under the regulatory guidelines of the IRDAI (Protection of Policy Holders’ Interests).

There are certain guidelines and conditions to be followed for porting.

  1. It needs to be done only at the time of renewal, which ensures that the new period of insurance will be effective with the new insurer.
  2. Any policy holder can apply for the portability only if it is maintained without any breaks.
  3. The policy holder has to write an application to its present insurance company to shift the policy to a new insurer.
  4. The above mentioned application should be made 45 days prior to the policy renewal date, mentioning the name of the new insurance company to which the policy holder wants to switch.

Once the insurance company receives the insurance portability application, it provides the policy holder with a proposal form and a portability form. The present insurer then shares the details of the insured person with the new insurer via a common IRDAI portal for sharing customer data. Within 15 days the new insurance company has to take a decision failing which they have to accept the portability application.

Documents required for porting a health insurance policy are:

  1. Policy certificate of previous years.
  2. Latest notice of renewal mentioning coverage continuity and other details.
  3. The policy holder’s self declaration in cases of no claim.
  4. Investigation report, discharge summary and other documents in cases of claims.
  5. Filled in proposal and portability forms.

There are very few reasons for rejection of portability requests:

  1. If the policy holder fails to submit the above mentioned documents on time.
  2. The age of the policy holder also plays a major role for rejection. The higher the age, the lesser the chance of portability.

It is best to stay with the best in this business if you want your portability to happen stress free. Companies like Bharti AXA provide portability solutions that are hassle-free and accessible. We do make mistakes in our choices, some can be mended and others’ cannot. Let’s not make the mistake knowingly.

Bradley P. Bolden

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