When buying health insurance, many people have a fear in the back of their mind about what would happen if they didn’t like the services provided by their current health insurer. What if they would want to change from one insurance company to another? Will they lose all the accumulated benefits if they switch?
To take care of all these buyer concerns, the IRDA, in 2011, introduced Health Insurance Portability. This means that now a policyholder has the freedom to switch from one health insurance plan (including family cover) or insurer to another, while transferring the credit gained for time bound exclusions and pre-existing conditions.
Here are the various steps to get yourself a new insurer or plan.
Steps to Switching Your Insurance Provider
You should know that if you wish to switch your plan or provider, you need to do it before your current policy expires. The general time period for the new insurer to respond to the portability request is nearly 15 days. There might be further delay in processing the port request due to unforeseen reasons. So, make sure you apply for portability at least 45 days before the expiry of the existing policy. However, you cannot apply much before that.
Health insurance companies have their underwriting norms. They will accept your proposal, only if they find your application to be line with their underwriting norms.
This might appear simple. However, there is a catch. Policyholders do not have the liberty to switch plans as they like, when they like. The insurer that you wish to leave also has the right to accept or reject your port request. And, they might just reject your request if they do not find the application favourable. Poor claim history, delay in submitting documents and providing insufficient or false information can be the major reasons for rejection.
Many companies may overlook a poor claim history but charge higher premiums from the applicant. However, premiums are never encouraged to be the sole reason for choosing a specific policy. It is important that you compare health insurance plans for their coverage, exclusions and terms and conditions too.
To avoid getting your request declined and to avoid hefty premiums, check out all these reasons for which your request might be denied and try to correct them. Meanwhile, it is best not to drop the idea of being insured. Stick to your current insurance plan, build up a good history and then try for portability again.