Health insurance

What you need to know when transferring your health insurance

HIGHLIGHTS

  • There are waiting periods for health insurance plans which generally consist of three periods: 30 days for new policies, up to two years for most conditions and up to four years for pre-existing conditions.
  • You will need to complete the full pre-existing condition waiting period if you are looking for higher coverage or if your policy has a shorter term.
  • When taking out port health insurance, you can always demand an improvement in the guaranteed amount.
New Delhi: The health insurance policy is an essential financial tool to protect you and your family from unforeseen events such as medical emergencies. It not only protects you and your family but also helps you save your hard earned money and get the best quality medical treatment without worrying about funds.

Health insurance portability was introduced by IRDAI in 2011. Portability refers to the right given to an individual insured (including family coverage) to transfer credit acquired by the insured for pre-existing conditions and exclusions limited in time if the insured chooses to switch from one insurer to another insurer, provided that the previous policy has been maintained without interruption.

Many people know portability as switching from one telecommunications service to another. But few people know that health insurance plans also offer portability benefits to policyholders. Health insurance portability is a facility through which an insured can move from their current health insurance company to another or from their existing health insurance policy to a new one in order to avail better services,” Ankit said. Agrawal, co-founder and CEO of InsuranceDekho.

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Carrying health insurance plans offer the insured the flexibility of not getting stuck with the existing insurer even when dissatisfied. Instead, one can seek better coverage, premium or services from another insurer who is willing to provide you with the benefits you are looking for in your health insurance policy.

Below are some points suggested by Ankit Agrawal that you should consider when transferring your current health insurance policy:

Package Features – Opt for a health insurance package that, without any sub-limits, offers both hospitalization and on-call procedures. Note that all policies are distinct from each other and are governed by their underwriting.

Waiting time – There are waiting periods for health insurance plans which generally consist of three periods: 30 days for new policies, up to two years for most conditions and up to four years for pre-existing conditions . Often, you will have to complete the entire waiting period for pre-existing conditions if you are looking for higher coverage or if your policy has a shorter duration.

Coverage of the new insurer – Suppose the insured has agreed to transfer his health insurance policy, after having thought about it, to benefit from lower premiums. While offering lower premiums compared to your current policy, some insurers may however resort to reducing coverage. So, before changing the insurance policy provider, check the insurance coverages.

Higher sum insured – When taking out port health insurance, you can always demand an improvement in the guaranteed amount. This is, however, strictly at the discretion of the Subscriber. Additionally, if you attempt to transfer a single member from floating coverage with a substantial increase in the promised amount, you may be directly subject to the scrutiny of the new service provider. This usually happens when you are looking for an undesirable health condition to improve your plan coverage.

Porting schedule – You can request the transfer of your health insurance policy no earlier than 60 days before your existing health insurance policy expires and no later than 45 days. Keep this deadline in mind to avoid rejection of your submission. The insurance regulator must also have insurance claims and other information within 7-15 days of submitting your portability form.

Submit the right application – Make sure you have filled in the necessary information, including your pre-existing condition, in the form and have all the documents in the correct order for your current policy. Also, don’t neglect the timing of the app. If you are under 50 and have a clean claims history, you have the best chance of being accepted for porting a health insurance policy. Be sure to carefully compare all your options, and before signing up, don’t forget to review the fine print of the new insurance company.

Age factor – Some insurers are reluctant to accept health insurance portability requests for seniors because the older you get, the more vulnerable you are to health problems. Some insurers also charge high loading fees if they find that the claimant is over 55 and has a chronic illness.

Medical background – If you have a pre-existing condition or a medical condition that requires regular hospital visits, you will not be able to transfer your health insurance. The applicant must undergo a medical examination to assess his state of health if he is over 45 years old. If the medical conditions show the signs of illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, your health insurance portability offer may be declined by the new insurer. In addition, in case of a history of cardiovascular or renal insufficiency, where the recurring costs are high, your application may also be refused.

The network of medical establishments – Make sure that whatever policy you choose, you have a reliable network of doctors and hospitals in locations that are convenient for you. It is necessary to hurry to the nearest hospitals that provide good care at the time of the emergency. Your new policy should have a cashless facility with maximum hospitals. It is important to keep this in mind when transferring health insurance.

For all existing health insurance policyholders, transfer is a useful option, as it provides the opportunity to upgrade to a better policy. Better quality requirements on the part of the new insurer are among the advantages of the portability of health insurance. You will get a competitive price and better features on the plans, as a policyholder.