Mumbai, November 22: Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) introduced health insurance portability in 2011, to allow policyholders the freedom to choose health insurance provider of their preference. If a policyholder wants to port the existing health insurance to another insurer one must follow the terms and conditions for porting the plan.
A policyholder can apply for porting at the time of renewal only if the policy is maintained without any breaks. The policyholder has to submit a written application to its current insurer at least 45 days prior to the policy renewal date and should mention the name of the new insurer to which the policyholder wants to port.
Anuj Gulati, MD and CEO, Religare Health Insurance says, “The core-purpose of the porting facility service is to allow individuals to choose an insurer of their preference, the process has been kept very simple. In terms of documentation, the customer needs to submit a porting form that carries information related to the current insurer, the current policy and plan enforce, pre-existing ailments and period of coverage.”
Policyholders can port their policy in both online and offline formats. Policyholders are allowed to port their policy from a group plan to an individual plan provided by the same insurer. Porting a policy takes the same time as issuance of a new policy, post-verification of the information tendered by the customer with their current insurer. Once the insurer receives the insurance portability application, it provides the policyholder with a proposal form and a portability form.
Porting allows the present insurer to share the details of the insured person with the new insurer via a common IRDAI portal for sharing customer data. Once the new insurer gets all the details, it has to take a decision about underwriting the insurance policy within 15 days. Failing to respond within 15 days will force the insurer to accept the portability application.
“One of the most significant advantages is that the various stipulated wait periods for coverage get carried-forward to the new insurer. This means the individual will not be considered a new customer and made to serve the complete pre-defined wait periods; instead the period one has covered with the current insurer will get transferred to his new insurer”, adds Gulati.
To avail the benefits under porting, the policyholder must submit all the required documents including policy document of previous years, latest notice of renewal and other details, fully filled proposal form and portability form, in case of no claim self declaration, investigation report, discharge summary and other documents in case of past claim records.
The option of porting a health insurance plan makes it possible for an individual to avail benefits offered by another insurer. This could be in terms of a reduction in premium for the same sum-insured or enhancement of services such as a faster turn-around-time for claim servicing, better cashless network too. However, the new insurer could reject a health insurance portability request if the policyholder failed to submit required documents or accept it with few clauses.