In 2011, the Insurance and Regulatory Development Authority of India allowed policyholders to port their health insurance policies. As per this feature, if the policyholder is not satisfied with their present insurer, they can switch their policy to another one by following the due procedure. Even though this feature has gained quite a lot of popularity in the last decade, there have been misconceptions and several myths attached to it as well. These myths can stop one from taking full advantage of the usefulness of portability. To help in creating awareness, we break down some common myths on health insurance portability.
- The NCB is lost when one ports their health insurance policy
In a way, the NCB or No Claim Bonus is a reward given to you for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and not raising any claims on the health insurance policy. It is an indicator of your effort and is not attached to any specific insurance provider. Therefore, the belief that one loses their NCB when they port their health insurance policy is only a myth and not a fact. When porting your plan, do remember to get the NCB retention certificate from your old insurer and provide it to the new insurer.
- The waiting period credit is lost during the portability of health insurance policy
As per the guidelines laid down by the IRDA, the new insurer “shall allow for credit gained by the insured for a pre-existing condition(s) in terms of the waiting period.” So, if you already have completed the waiting period for pre-existing diseases in your previous health insurance policy, then you do not have to undergo any new waiting period for a new plan. This aspect of portability applies even when a policyholder switches from one plan to another with the same insurer.
- The process of porting your health insurance policy is very tedious
There is a due procedure to be followed when porting your health insurance policy. As long as you follow the exact steps, you will not find the process tedious. You can even complete the procedure of porting your policy online. All you will have to do is provide the required details to your new insurer and fill the portability request form. You should also inform your old insurer about your plans to shift. It is necessary to do this 45-60 days before the renewal date of your old health insurance policy. Once you have done your part, the rest will be taken care of by the insurers. They will communicate with each other and come to a conclusion. If all goes well, your new insurance policy period will begin with the new insurance company.
- The premiums will stay the same after the portability
Different insurers have different ways of calculating their premiums. So, when you switch from one insurer to another, it is highly likely that you will incur a change in premiums. Moreover, the new insurer may sometimes offer you newer coverage and extra services that may not have been a part of your health insurance policy before. All these factors are bound to bring about a change in the overall health insurance costs.
Before you port your health insurance, make it a point to do some research on the various health insurance policies offered in the market. You should make sure that your new insurer is able to meet your coverage needs and is an established name in the insurance industry.
It should be pointed out that you can only port similar types of health insurance policies. So, an individual health plan can be ported into a family health insurance plan but not into a critical illness health plan.
Good luck in choosing the right plan!