The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) introduced the health insurance portability in October 2011. The feature allows policyholders to switch from one insurer to another without losing the benefits of their previous health insurance policy.
Earlier, switching from one insurer to another wasn’t an easy choice because such a move resulted in losing benefits like the waiting period for covering pre-existing ailments.
Now, the portability guidelines introduced by the government agency protect you by giving you the right to port your policy to any other insurance company of your choice. As per the rule, your new insurance company “shall allow for credit gained by the insured for pre-existing condition(s) in terms of waiting period.”
The portability will help you in two situation – when you move from one insurer to another and also if you want to move from one plan to another with the same insurer.
- You can port your plan from and to any general insurance company
- You can port any individual or family plans
- Your new insurance company is obliged to give you the benefit relating to waiting period for pre-existing conditions that you have attained with the old insurer
- Your new insurance company must give you at least up to the sum insured under the old plan
- The two insurance companies are obliged to complete the porting as per the deadlines mentioned in the portability guidelines
- The porting is allowed only at the juncture of renewal. That means, your new insurance period will be with the new insurer.
- Apart from the waiting period credit, the new insurance company has the power to take the decision on all other terms of the new policy including the premium.
- At least 45 days before your policy renewal is due, you have to approach your old insurer asking for a shift and specifying the company name to which you want to shift.