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The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is a body that works for the welfare of insurance policyholders and lays down guidelines for protecting their interests. Health Insurance Portability is one provision given by the IRDAI that allows policyholders to switch their policy from one insurer to another while retaining the benefits.
Buying good health insurance is a process that involves thoughtful planning and careful comparison of various plans available in the market. However, there could be some reasons that can compel a policyholder to move from one insurer to another. For instance, you might want to change your insurer if your insurer increases the premium or you shifted your location and are unable to find a network hospital, or you may just be dissatisfied with the services. Earlier, policyholders faced disadvantages in terms of losing their benefits such as the ‘waiting period for pre-existing diseases’ and no claim bonus when switching insurance companies and were regarded as new policyholders by the new insurer. However, the portability rules by IRDAI now enable policyholders to opt for their preferred insurer without worrying about losing the benefits.
There are certain rights available for the policyholders that include the right to:
Also, both the old and new insurer must complete the porting in accordance with the timelines specified in the IRDAI (Protection of Policyholders’ Interests) Regulations and guidelines.
When planning to port your health insurance policy, there are vital things to keep in mind to experience a hassle-free process. They are discussed below:
By opting for the portability of health insurance policy, policyholders can expect to gain numerous benefits in addition to their accrued benefits and bonuses getting transferred. These benefits come in the form of upgraded policies, attractive premium and enhanced services. With a track record of processing claims in a hassle-free manner, Care Health Insurance enables policyholders to port their health plans ‘Care’ and ‘Care Freedom’ based on their age segment and health status, and guided by the underwriting rules.
Introduced in October 2011, Health Insurance Portability refers to the right given to a policyholder of individual health insurance or family floater plans to get the credit gained for pre-existing conditions and time-bound exclusions transferred when he/ she decides to switch from existing insurer to another or from one plan to another with the same insurer. It is applicable under the condition that the previous policy has been maintained without any break. To be eligible for this, the policyholder who wishes to port his/her policy is required to apply to the old insurer at least 45 days prior to the premium renewal date of the existing policy. He must approach the new insurer at least 45 days prior to the premium renewal date. However, the insurer is free to consider the proposal even if the policyholder fails to adhere to this time limit. At the same time, insurers also have been given the right to accept or decline any request for porting health policy, after reviewing data, such as claims history of the policyholder.
The IRDAI has set up a web-based facility for maintenance of data of all health insurance policies issued by insurers in order to make it easily accessible by the new insurers.
Policyholders are required to comply with the health insurance portability rules, as specified here:
Many people who want to skip hassles discard the idea of moving from one insurer to another. However, the portability procedures have been simplified, that makes it highly convenient for the policyholders.
Care Health Insurance offers an easy 3-step procedure to port health insurance policy.
The requisite data will be furnished on the official web portal of IRDAI. The new insurer will underwrite the proposal and inform the policyholder within 15 days.
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*Source: IBAI Claims Handbook for FY 19-20 and *number of claims settled as on February, 2022
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The IRDAI has set guidelines regarding the portability of the mediclaim policy that must be adhered to by the insurers and policyholders. It is a privilege given to the policyholders to change their insurer, due to some specific reasons, without losing the benefits. It is specifically convenient as far as a waiting period in case of pre-existing conditions is concerned. So, even if a policyholder ports his policy to the new insurer, he may not have to complete the waiting period all over again. However, this advantageous provision of mediclaim policy portability is subject to the continuity of the health policy. That is, there should not be any break in the existing policy.
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