Insurance uncovered

 

My wife and I, both senior citizens and aged 66, have been covered under health insurance policy from New India Assurance Co since 2003. The sum assured is ₹4 lakh each with ₹75,000 each as accumulated bonus. Last year, the insurance company increased the premium by 100 per cent without proper communication. The increased premium last year was ₹62,000 for both (including GST). Aggrieved with this, I intend to port the policy to Senior Citizens Red Carpet Policy – SA ₹5 lakh each of Star Health Insurance Co. The premium is ₹42,500 for both (including GST). Am I taking the right decision?

R Kumar Jain

The increase in premium is perhaps because you crossed a milestone year at 65. But if you feel you were overcharged or the increase in premium was done without any advance intimation, you can approach the Grievance Redressal Officer of the insurance company. Give a written complaint with supporting documents to the officer at the branch. If your problem is not resolved within 15 days or if you are unhappy with their resolution you can approach the Grievance Redressal Cell of the Consumer Affairs Department of IRDAI through the Call Toll Free Number 155255 (or) 1800 4254 732 or send an e-mail to complaints@irda.gov.in

Porting between the two plans is technically possible. If you are of reasonably good health and not made claims on your old policy, porting should be easy. But if you or your wife has any existing medical condition, the probability of success in porting to a new health insurer is less at your age.

So, start the process well in advance. Even if your proposal gets rejected, you will still have time to renew your policy with New India Assurance.

If Star Health doesn’t require you to go through medical tests, they may put you through waiting period. But the objective of porting itself is to have continuity benefit without going through the waiting period again.

If you are asked to go through medical tests, acceptance or rejection of your proposal would depend on the outcome of the underwriting.

As a product, the Senior Citizen Red Carpet plan from Star Health is a good one for the premium it asks. It allows lifelong renewal. But note, like other senior citizen plans, this one too has mandatory co-pay requirement (50 per cent for pre-existing diseases and 30 per cent for all others) and sub-limits on certain expenses (such as room rent and surgeon’s/consultant’s fee) and specified diseases (such as cardiac, renal complications and cancer).

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