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What is the easiest way port a Health Insurance policy?

I am stuck with a health insurance that is utterly expensive and lots of terms and conditions come into play when I want to claim it. The kind of service I expected when I bought the policy is nowhere even close to the one that I have access to now. Does this sound similar to what you are undergoing with your health insurance plan? Well if you have any such issues with your health insurer, there is some good news for you in the form of plan portability. IRDAI or the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India allows you to port your health plan from one insurer to another and not miss out any accumulated benefits in the meanwhile.

What exactly is porting?

Porting of a health insurance plan allows a policyholder to switch between two insurers of similar plans without missing out on any forms of credits gained on pre-existing conditions or losing out on exclusions that are usually time-bound. If you have already completed the waiting period for certain clauses with your previous insurer, porting will not rob you of the same. You can also utilize the same to switch from one plan of your existing insurer to another plan.

How to port?

If you want to port your existing policy to a new insurer, the following are the step by step instructions for the same.

  • You must apply for a policy with the new insurer at least 45 days before your policy with the existing insurer expires.
  • Once the new insurer receives the application form, they would want you to fill out necessary forms to initiate the porting process and complete any formalities that is needed. From your point of view, it is essential to get this done as soon as possible for a faster process.
  • On completion of the form filling process, the new insurer has about 7 working days to get your medical history and claim history details from your old insurer and continue the porting procedure.
  • IRDAI’s website has a specific format when it comes to applications pertaining to medical plan porting. The new insurer has to now pass the information collected from you and old insurer on to IRDAI website.
  • On successfully receiving the information that they need, the new insurer will initiate a proposal based on their norms.
  • The new insurer now has exactly 15 days to process all the information and send you the new proposal. There is a flip side to the situation. If the new insurer is unable to furnish a proposal to you within the specified time frame, they will have to accept the policies regarding the port.

Watch out for

The following are some important points that you should keep in mind while going ahead with health care plan porting. As mentioned earlier, you should apply for the porting at least 45 days before your policy expires. Failing to do so puts you at a disadvantage. When you apply for a health plan portability, the new insurer gets 15 days to respond to the request. If there are any delays on that front, it is the responsibility of the new insurer to work with the old insurer and provide you with a short-term policy of 30 days.

Most of the insurers have underwriting policies and failing to them would result in increased premiums or cancellation of port request altogether. You must keep in mind that if you do not have any pre-existing conditions and have not claimed your policy the porting process will be relatively easier for you. Porting of health insurance policy has lots of benefits, one of the biggest being, the ability to continue without the waiting periods. For an instance, if you have completed the 3 years waiting period for a specific disease, you do not have to wait for 3 more years under the new policy existing and the coverage would start immediately.

If you have come across situations where the behaviour and service provided by your existing insurer are not acceptable, you should look at portability. Do make it a point to go through all the clauses and conditions before putting that signature down to port the policy.

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