Health insurance provides cover against expenses incurred due to illness, injury, accidental death, medical expenses. It is a contract between the insured and the insurance provider wherein the insured will make payments known as premium for the term of the policy and get protection against medical expenses and accidental death. Different health insurance policies offer different cover.
What is Health Insurance Portability?
Health insurance portability is a facility that allows you to transfer your health insurance policy from an existing company to another company. It allows the customer to carry forward the benefits accrued on their previous policy. These benefits are gained by sticking with the policy for a continuous period of a time. This is very important to get coverage for pre-existing diseases. In the past, a move like this would have resulted in losing most of the benefits except for the waiting period benefit.
What is the procedure of Health Insurance portability?
It is a very simple process.
- A form has to be submitted to the new insurer stating the porting of your policy. It should reach the new insurer 45 days prior to the last renewal date of your existing policy.
- On receiving the form, the new insurer will provide you with a proposal form and a portability form along with the details of policies offered by them.
- The applicant should choose the product, fill up the forms and submit it to the new insurer.
- The same information will be shared through a common portal to the existing insurer who has to furnish the details within seven days.
- Once the new insurer has the requisite information they will make a decision within 15 days.
Benefits of Health Insurance Portability
The benefits of Health Insurance Portability are listed below.
- You can change the insurer if you are not satisfied with the existing insurer.
- The freedom to choose any new individual and family policy with the new insurer.
- Benefits of the previous policy can be carried over to the new policy with the new insurer.
- The new insurer has to insure at least up to sum insured of the old policy and nothing less than that.
- Better claim settlement from the companies.
- Lower or competitive premiums.
- Cumulative from the old policy can be transferred to the new policy.
- Customer oriented services.
Disadvantages of Health Insurance Portability
The disadvantages of Health Insurance Portability are listed below.
- The premium might not remain the same.
- Features of Health Insurance companies are very different.
- You can port to another company only at the time of renewal.
- No clarity regarding top up medical insurance policies.
- Cooling off period of 1 year.
- Maternity benefits available in group health insurance policies may not be available if switched to an individual policy.
- Renewal notice
- Self-declaration by customer regarding no claims made
- Discharge summary, investigation and follow up policies are required if there is a claim in the existing policy.
- Consultation papers, investigation copies, treatment reports for past medical history if any.
Harshini bought a health insurance plan recently from company ABC and she was happy with it. One fine weekend, over lunch, her friend told her about the health insurance policy XYZ with better coverage. Harshini was upset that she hadn’t chosen plan XYZ and while surfing through the net she discovered a wonderful tool that is health insurance portability. Through health insurance portability Harshini managed to transfer her policy from company ABC to the new policy in XYZ. The best thing about the whole portability option for her was that she still managed to keep the benefits from her old policy when she transferred to a new policy with the new company. Health Insurance Portability made it possible for Harshini to avail the best health insurance plan without losing anything.