Portability of health insurance

 

When you change your health insurance policy from one insurance company to another, you don’t have to give up on the you have accumulated from the former insurer.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) gives you the right to port your policy to any other insurer of your choice. It has laid down that the new insurer “shall allow for credit gained by the insured for pre-existing condition(s) in terms of waiting period.” This applies when you move not only from one insurer to another but also from one plan to another with the same insurer. Below are the rights of a policyholder who ports his/her health policy, along with the conditions he/she has to follow:

Rights

  • You can port your policy from and to any general insurance company or specialised health insurance company.
  • You can port any individual/family policies.
  • Your new insurer has to give you the credit relating to the waiting period for pre-existing conditions that you have gained with the old insurer.
  • Your new insurer has to insure you at least up to the sum insured under the old policy.
  • The two insurers should complete the porting as per the timelines prescribed under the IRDA (Protection of Policyholders’ Interests) Regulations and guidelines.

Conditions

  • You can port the policy only at the juncture of renewal — the new insurance period will be with the new insurance firm.
  • Apart from the waiting period credit, all other terms of the new policy, including the premium, are at the discretion of the new insurance company.
  • At least 45 days before your renewal is due, you have to: 1) Write to your old insurance company requesting a shift 2) Specify the company to which you want to shift the policy to, and 3) Renew your policy without a break (there is a 30-day grace period if porting is under process)

IRDA facilitation

IRDA has created a web-based facility to collect and maintain data on all individual health insurance policies issued by insurance companies so that it can be accessed by the new company to which a policyholder wishes to port his/her policy. This enables the new insurer to obtain data on the policyholder’s health insurance history. Source: IRDAI

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