When a policyholder buys a new policy and transfers from an existing one, the benefits in the existing policy continues to the new policy, this process is termed health insurance portability. Porting of a health policy also occurs from one insurer to another.

Reasons for health insurance portability

Poor-quality service, slow process of claim settlement, hidden clauses and conditions, hike in the premium cost in case a claim is made, late reimbursements, better deals and more economic offerings from another health insurer can be a few of the reasons for porting a policy.

How to port a health policy?

In order to port a policy, the policyholder is required to fill the portability form along with the proposal form for the new policy he or she wishes to opt for. All the details related to the policyholder should be mentioned in the form (including the details of new policy and the existing policy).

One must see to it that the portability form must be submitted to the new insurance at least 45 days before expiry of the existing policy.

What all components can be ported?

Time-bound exclusions in the existing policy, 30-day waiting period after purchase (waiting period for existing ailments and specified elements) and No Claim Bonus on existing policy can be ported.

The paperwork for porting of a health insurance policy must start when the existing policy is in force, the porting process will not happen in case the existing policy has already been expired.

Documents required to port a health insurance policy

Following documents are required by the policyholder for the porting process:

* Copy of insurance renewal notice of previous year’s policies schedule
* Declaration that no claims have been made if applicable
* In case a claim was made earlier, discharge summary investigation and follow up report copies
* For past medical history, treatment and report copies

The insurance portability process

The policyholder needs to submit the filled proposal and portability form provided by the new insurer and must select the products of his or her suitability. Once all the papers are received, the new insurance will check policy details such as claim history, medical reports etc from the existing insurance through the IRDAI portal. The necessary details must be furnished by the existing insurer within seven working days. In case there is some delay in this process, the new insurer can hold the porting request acceptance in abeyance.

The new insurance can accept the portability proposal or give the account a proposal to the policyholder only once all the details are received from the existing insurance.

One must know that the insurance must give a proposal to the customer within 15 days from the date of submission of portability form otherwise the company will be compelled to accept the portability application.

The bottom line is if you are considerably good in health and fall below 45 years of age than you should definitely port your health insurance plans for wider benefits. Nevertheless, if you have a bad medical history, it is always advisable to stick to your existing insurer.

(Rakesh Goyal, Director, Probus Insurance)