How to Switch your Health Insurer
If you always wanted to switch to a new insurer because of its better policies, but could not do so as the old policy was deemed terminated, there is good news for you. From 1st of October, 2011, health insurance portability has come into effect which allows you to switch insurers without losing out on the policy benefits offered by the old one.
If you have completed two years with an insurer and an illness is covered only after expiry of three years, the benefit of portability is that you can switch to your new insurer right away and still get the cover offered by the old insurer, after one year lapses.
Features of Health Insurance Portability
- Portability of insurance is applicable to only non-life insurance companies. If you have a group mediclaim, you would be allowed to shift to individual health insurance policy or family floater policy. The only requirement is for you to stay with one insurer for at least one year. This is of great benefit to those employers whose only health insurance plan is the mediclaim offered by the employer, which they can take with them to the next job.
- You become eligible to apply for portability forty five days before your existing policy is renewed. You will need to submit soon to be launched portability form and proposal form. IRDA would make these available soon.
- Your insurer would underwrite its proposal and intimate you the decision within 15 days. If the insurer happens to cross this limit, the proposal is deemed submitted by you.
- The new insurer has the right to deny you the plan if your application details do not match the requirements of the new plan. Alternatively, the new insurer could write a new proposal in which the premium could be very high.
- If the proposal from the new insurer is not received till the renewal date of your existing policy, it can be extended with a proportionate premium for a short period to your policyholder and make sure that policy does not get cancelled.
- You need to watch out for the condition of your insurance policy before considering portability as that can lead to a loss. For example, a no claim bonus transferred to a new policy can allow you the bonus but the premium may be an enhanced one.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Oct 10, 2011
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