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What is Insurance Portability -

The term “portability” is generally understood to refer to the ability to change telecommunications service providers. Few people are aware that a health insurance coverage also has the benefits of portability, though. There may be a variety of reasons why someone would wish to switch insurance providers, and delaying until the policy’s expiration date could appear to be the best course of action. However, through health insurance portability, the customer is able to switch insurers while maintaining the advantages of their policy.

The Insurance Regulatory And Development Authority of India introduced the concept of portability in 2011. The IRDA is an organization that protects the interests of insurance policyholders by establishing rules to ensure their wellbeing. Previously, moving from one insurance provider to another was disadvantageous for policyholders because they lost perks like waiting periods and No Claim Bonus. However, thanks to the new portability regulations, they are now free to choose whatever insurer they want without worrying about losing their benefits.

If you want to buy a beneficial health insurance plan, you need to study and compare multiple health insurance plans. But even with careful planning, there are occasional situations where the insured must change from one insurance provider to another. May be your health insurer has increased the premium, or you are relocating, the lack of a network hospital nearby, or maybe you are not satisfied with the service of your current insurance company. In all these situations, you can think of porting.    

What is Health Insurance Portability -

Health insurance portability is indeed the capability to switch one’s existing health insurance coverage from the existing insurer to another insurer. One might port their health insurance when their service is subpar, they need more coverage, or for some other reason. Portability encourages competition and offers current customers good alternatives by making sure that companies don’t take its customers casually. Customers who opt for portability get the freedom to change to a superior service provider without being concerned about losing any previously gained benefits

How To Apply For Health Insurance Portability -

  • You must take the actions listed below in order to port your health insurance:
  • At least 45 days prior to the existing policy’s scheduled expiration, ask the new insurance company about portability.
  • The new insurer will provide a proposal, a portability form, and details on the different health insurance choices upon receipt of the porting request.
  • Select a health plan which meets your requirements and then email the finalized proposal and portability documentation to the new insurer.
  • After obtaining the required forms and pertinent information, the new insurance company will contact the previous insurer or go to the IRDAI website to check specific info, like the applicant’s claim record, medical history, etc.
  • The present insurer shall make all essential information available through the common data-sharing platform of the IRDAI within 7 working days. If this information is supplied later than anticipated, the new provider may postpone its decision on whether to accept the porting application.
  • The new insurance company will make a decision regarding the insurance in 15 days of obtaining all the data. If they don’t make a choice by then, they’ll be compelled to approve the portability application.

Documents Required For Health Insurance Portability -

To transfer health insurance, the following paperwork is necessary:

  • Consistency of coverage – any claims that have been filed, including records, but not limited to discharge summaries and investigation reports, documents of previous policies, and policyholders’ self-declarations in no-claim scenarios are all specifically mentioned in the latest renewal notice from the prior insurer.
  • correctly completed forms for portability and proposals from the new insurer.

Rules For Health Insurance Portability -

Only under specific conditions and guidelines one can transfer their health insurance policy from the former insurance provider to a new one. Nevertheless, there isn’t a specific health insurance portability act which controls the change.

As stated by the IRDAI, both the policy holder and the insurer must follow a series of rules that control the portability of health insurance. Some of the rules governing health insurance portability are listed below:

Rules Description
Opportunity to Switch
A policyholder has the opportunity to switch their policies between one specialty or general insurer to another specialty or general insurer.
Laws that are comparable
One can port only the health laws that are comparable. For instance, you can change from one top-up plan to another top-up plan, or from a reimbursement plan to another reimbursement plan. However, it is possible to move both family and personal health insurance policies
Written Notice to their Current Health Insurer
If a person decides to switch health insurance providers, they should give written notice to their current health insurer of their decision and name the new provider. Furthermore, they should send a portability application to the new health insurance company at least 45 days before their current policy expires.
Regularly Renew Policies
Policyholders should regularly renew their health insurance policies in order to avail the portability option. Nevertheless, it won't be considered a break-in policy and the policyholder can port if the policy is terminated as a result of an insurance company delay
Regularly Renew Policies
Policyholders should regularly renew their health insurance policies in order to avail the portability option. Nevertheless, it won't be considered a break-in policy and the policyholder can port if the policy is terminated as a result of an insurance company delay
Grace Period
Applicants get a 30-day grace period for the renewal of their policy, provided that the porting procedure is still in progress or the new insurer has not made any decision yet. To receive this additional layer of protection, policyholders should contribute a prorated payment to their present insurer instead of the annual premium.
Waiting Period
When switching to a new insurance plan with an extended waiting timeframe for pre-existing conditions, one needs to complete the entire waiting period, excluding any time already passed under the previous plan
Premium Price
The insurance provider sets the premium for a health insurance plan depending on a range of variables. If you decide to leave your current insurance provider, you may be required to pay an extra premium. This is due to the possibility that the new insurer would charge a different premium price for the same type of coverage

Benefits of Health Insurance Portability -

The following list includes some of the many benefits of health insurance portability:

  1. The ability to modify insurance to meet current medical requirements is referred to as portability. One can introduce new nominees or select an extra cover based on how their lifestyle has evolved.
  2. When a policy transfer happens, it adds the previous sum insured to the accrued bonus to calculate the new sum insured. The process also adds the no claim bonus to the new sum insured.
  3. When you choose portability, you don’t need to concern about any time-bound exclusions.
  4. With the help of Health Insurance Portability, policyholders can change to a service provider that values open communication and steers clear of complicated terms and restrictions.
  5. Customers get the choice of selecting a health insurance provider with a solid track record of offering first-rate customer support.

Rights of the Insurance Company Regarding Health Insurance Portability -

The IRDA has granted portability powers not just to the insured but also to insurance companies, who are now able to refuse any port-in requests. All requests for health insurance portability are viewed as fresh and are scrutinized by the underwriter, who evaluates the risk exposure to figure out the cost of the health insurance. The insurer does have the power to refuse the request for portability if the results are not positive. The policyholder will then be forced to stick with the current health insurance provider.

You can access information about all the individual health insurance plans provided by insurance firms through a web-based tool developed by IRDA. This makes it simple for the new insurance provider that the customer wants to use to transfer their health insurance plan to get the information. The information may be in relation to the policyholder’s medical history as well as the advantages provided by the prior policy.

Reasons for the rejection of Health Insurance Portability application -

IRDAI reserves the right to reject a porting application if it fails to follow the terms, requirements, and policies of the insurer. Followings are the reasons for the rejection:

  • Having a poor claim record
  • Inadequate information
  • The inclusions, exclusions, as well as other characteristics of the new policy are materially different from those of the existing policy.
  • Late document submission
  • Other possible grounds for denying health insurance portability include:
  • When a policyholder chooses to withdraw the floater health coverage, the insurance company can get suspicious. This is because those who submit these requests frequently are in bad health and desire to have more coverage. Hence, it is probable that these requests for portability get rejected.
  • Although some insurance companies accept the age limit from 60 and 69, most companies turn away customers who are Seventy or above who desire portability. In any case, insurance companies may be fussy, use stringent underwriting standards, demand expensive premiums, guarantee high premium load, and perhaps even enact a co-payment clause in the event that a senior citizen requests portability.

Observations When Porting For Health Insurance -

A person may experience financial and emotional effects as a result of a medical emergency. If you don’t have the right health insurance coverage, it might quickly wipe out your funds. Lack of consideration for your requirements, lifestyle, and coverage when purchasing a policy can significantly affect the amount of any claims. As a result, it’s crucial to take the following factors into account while switching health insurance providers:

There is a maximum claimable amount for each type of coverage under a health insurance policy. When switching health insurance policies, you should review these restrictions to help ensure you are comfortable with the new policy’s limits and sub-limits.

Every health insurance plan is created to include specific benefits for the policyholder. You must be aware that these characteristics or advantages are exclusive to the plan and you can’t port them. You cannot alter this feature, for instance, if your former policy covered 30 days pre-hospitalization, but the new insurance provider provides this coverage for 15 days.

Your new insurer may ask for a lower premium. Nevertheless, you must confirm that the coverage provided for a cheaper rate is adequate for your requirements. Your out-of-pocket costs during a medical emergency can increase if you pay cheaper rates for less coverage. When you pay a hospital or other healthcare provider straight without the help of your insurance company, this is referred to as a “out of pocket cost.”

Right to Switch Health Insurance for Policyholders -

The following rights pertain to the portability of health insurance for policyholders:

  1. You can transfer your health insurance coverage from one general insurance provider to another, including health insurance providers.
  2. You can port your individual health insurance plan or family floater plan.
  3. Your new insurer must give you the waiting period credit for pre-existing conditions that you have got from the previous insurer.
  4. The insured must get the credit for the pre-existing condition waiting time acquired with the prior insurance provider from the new insurance provider.
  5. The new insurance provider must cover the policyholder’s expenses at least up to the amount covered by the prior health insurance plan.
  6. According to the deadlines specified by the IRDA laws and standards under the Protection of Policyholders’ Interests, the two insurers must finish the policy porting.

Additional things to Consider -

If you intend to move your health insurance policy, there are a few other considerations you need to make. As follows:

  • While porting, you have the option to switch back to your previous insurer.
  • If a policyholder returns to their original insurer, they will be accepted back by them without any additional terms or higher rates.
  • You don’t need to pay any fees for porting. You are just needed to pay the new policy’s premiums.
  • While the porting process is taking place, you have 30 days to renew your insurance.

The best approach to switch insurers without sacrificing the continuity benefits accrued under your prior policy is by porting existing health insurance coverage. But before you switch your health insurance, keep in mind that if your main goal is to save money, you can possibly lose all the advantages and services you already enjoy. In order to prevent your coverage scenario from getting worse, you should also make sure that you move to the appropriate health policy.


As a family-owned Insurance Agency Policy21st has delivered valuable insurance solutions to individuals for years, specializing in Health, Motor & Travel Insurance along with the Insurance Portability Plans.

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