Dos and don'ts of health insurance portability

Insurers generally consider a portability request as a new application and if the customer is considered to be of high risk the insurer may ask for more premium or additional loading.

FP Staff October 19, 2011 16:02:38 IST
Dos and don'ts of health insurance portability

Insurance portability has now become a reality, are you excited? will you change your existing insurer? HOLD ON. What exactly does this mean and what are the key elements that you must keep in mind before going in for a different policy.

What is health insurance portability?

Dos and donts of health insurance portability

Korean Resource Centre/Flickr

Before we delve into the dos and don'ts, let us understand what is health insurance portability. Like mobile portability where you can switch your service provider and keep the same number, health insurance portability, which came into effect from 1 October, means that you can switch your health insurance service provider without loosing out on loyalty benefits.

Who will it benefit the most?

Employees who are falling out of a group insurance plan either due to retirement or resignation from a company are likely to be the biggest beneficieries, says a Mint report. Young people with good health who are stuck with either very expensive policies or or which have very low sub-limits for room rents or other expenditure, can now switch to better priced policies as well.

"While portability may seem like an ideal choice for all those who are looking for a superior level of service and benefits, many factors must be considered before one takes the decision to port" said Economic Times (ET) on Wednesday.

According to another article in the Business Standard insurers generally consider a portability request as a new application and if the customer is considered to be of high risk the insurer may ask for more premium or additional loading.

According to the above two articles here is a list of some of the key factors that one should keep in mind before switching over to another insurer:

Does the policy cover hospitalisation and day-to-day procedures?

It is important to look at each policy individually and choose one that suits you as policies are governed by their own underwriting principles. For example, does the policy cover both hospitalisaton and day-care procedures and without any sub limits.

Is there an age limit for renewing the policy?

Always check if the policy has an age limit for renewal. If yes, then find one which offers you life-long renewal as you are not getting any younger and with old age comes added health deterioration. Moreover, it is likely that your current cover becomes insufficient as you age. Instead of opting for another policy, it is better to ask the existing insurer for upgrades.

Claims-led rise in premium

Look out for insurance companies that do not add additional loading on premiums for claimed years. Also, if an insurer is not offering you a higher cover it is better to not port services in a hurry.

Room rent limits, co-payments and sub-limits on treatments -

Look out for companies that have daily limits on hospital room rents or sub-limits and move on to an insurer that does not make any type of restriction on the kind of room you choose.

Cashless or reimbursed?

What is your 'mode of payment' and collection of medical expenses. Do you have cashless facility? These are important aspects to consider as with age, ailments concerns also rise.

Increasing coverage without restriction

Is your medical cover keeping track of medical inflation and does it allow an increase in cover without any new restrictions or conditions?

Network of Hospitals,Doctors

Ever faced a problem in getting cashless claims, if yes, then maybe it's time to review your current insurance company network and compare it with its peers.

To read the entire Economic times article, click here.

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