Portability In Health Insurance

What is Portability?

Portability in health insurance means that the health insurance customer can switch from one insurer to another insurer and the continuity of the coverage would be passed on from the previous insurance policy to the new insurance policy. When you change your health insurance policy from one insurance company to another, you don't have to lose the benefits you have accumulated in your previous health insurance policy.

You can port similar health insurance policy from one insurer to another. All health insurance policies, including floater policies issued by general and health insurers, allow portability. However, only similar health policies can be ported. Those covered under group health insurance can migrate from their group policy to an individual policy with the same insurer first and subsequently to another insurer. A customer has the right to port his existing policy from the existing insurer to a similar policy with any other insurer of his choice with continuity of benefits in terms of waiting period and no claim bonus.

There are three kinds of waiting periods in a health policy. The first is a 30-day waiting period and it applies immediately after purchase. During this period, only hospitalization due to an accident is covered while a claim due to an ailment or disease acquired during this period is not coverable. Second is the waiting period on pre-existing ailments, which can extend from 12 months in certain plans up to 4 years. And third is the waiting period on specified ailments also known as first/second year exclusions. Such time bound exclusions can be ported.

When can you apply for portability?

Portability can be opted by the insured only at the time of renewal by making request for portability at least 45 days prior to policy renewal date.

What is the Process of Health Insurance Portability?

You have to apply to the new insurer at least 45 days before the policy renewal date of the current insurance policy. Then, you have to fill the proposal form for the new insurer along with the portability form. New health insurer, within 7 Days, will ask old health insurance company about the policyholder's details that include medical history & claim Benefits. New Health Insurance Company has the right to reject the proposal of a policyholder seeing the medical history & claim. The new insurer will then communicate the decision within 15 days from the receipt of complete data from your previous insurer.

What are the benefits of portability?

  • -You can change the insurer if you are not happy with the existing insurer's service.
  • - You can choose a new individual/family policy with better benefits, from the new insurer.
  • -Benefits of the previous policy would continue to exist and the waiting periods as well as the bonus accrued in your previous policy can be ported.
  • -Those covered under the group health insurance of an organization can freely change their job and switch existing policy with their current organization without much hassle and without losing on to the accrued benefits.
  • -Your new insurer has to insure you at least up to the sum insured under the old policy. If you opt for a higher sum insured in the new policy, waiting periods for pre existing and specific diseases /health conditions will apply afresh to the increased part of the sum insured while for the original sum insured, the waiting periods are ported.
  • -You are not charged anything extra when you opt for portability. All you need to pay is the premium.

What are the conditions or restrictions of portability?

  • -You can port the policy only at the time of renewal.
  • - Apart from the waiting period credit, all other terms of the new policy including the premium are at the discretion of the new insurance company.
  • -You have to renew the policy without a break.
  • -You have to apply for portability at least 45 days prior to the date of renewal.

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