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How to Switch to a Different Health Insurance Policy

August 03, 2021 1922

Rising medical costs have encouraged people across India to purchase health plans. Every good health insurance policy provides you with a financial safety net you can fall back on in emergencies. Currently, there is fierce competition in the health insurance market. You may have purchased a health insurance policy a few years ago. Over time, you might become unhappy with the services offered. If this is the case, you now have the opportunity to switch to a different health insurance provider. Before we talk about switching, let’s first understand why having health insurance is so vital.

What Is a Health Insurance Policy?

Life is often unpredictable. We never know when an accident or sudden illness could send us to a hospital for a few days. Given today’s rising medical costs, dealing with the financial repercussions of a sudden hospitalisation could wipe out our savings entirely. Health insurance plans serve as a financial safety net in these situations. They help us take care of hospital bills so that we can focus on getting better.

When Is the Right Time to Switch?

There are several health plans available in India today, each with advantages and drawbacks. Despite having a policy, you may decide you’d like to move to another insurer. But, switching plans isn’t something you do on a whim. You must carefully consider why you’re making the switch. It’s a good idea to make a change if:

You’re Unhappy with the Service

Your health insurance policy should help you when you need it the most. You probably purchased your plan based on promises your insurer made. If they do not live up to your expectations based on these promises, it’s probably time to shift your policy.

You Need More Cover

Every insurer has an underwriting process. Depending on how they consider applicants, the maximum sum insured you can enjoy might get capped. Let’s assume you wanted to purchase a plan with a sum insured amount of INR 20 lakhs. Unfortunately, your insurance provider is only able to provide a sum insured of INR 10 lakhs. If you cannot get the cover you need, you should port your health plan.

Lower Premiums

Given the amount of competition in today’s insurance market, another insurer may offer you the same coverage for lower premiums. Or, they may offer enhanced coverage at the same price. If you find a better plan that works for your pocket, you should port your health insurance policy.

How to Switch Health Insurance Plans

If you’re ready to switch to another insurance provider, here’s what you need to do:

Step 1

Reach out to potential new insurers at least 45 to 60 days before your current policy’s expiry date.

Step 2

Once you’ve found the ideal insurer, get started on the paperwork. You will have to fill up a portability proposal form with the new insurer. Make sure you furnish accurate details regarding your existing policy and claim history here. Along with the proposal form, you must submit address and identity proof documents. Ask the potential new insurer what documents they require.

Step 3

Let the insurance provider decide whether they’d like to port your policy or not. Once you submit the application to port your plan, your details are uploaded on the IRDAI portal. Your existing insurer must your new insurance provider with all the necessary medical information.

Step 4

Over the next 15 days, the new insurer must decide whether they want to accept or reject your application. If they do not make their decision within the given time, they will compulsorily have to provide you with the policy.

Step 5

Once your insurance provider agrees to port your policy, you need to check your payout. Based on your health and the benefits offered under the new policy, you may have to now opt for a co-pay or pay a higher premium. Apart from these costs, you do not have to worry about any portability charges. If you’re over 45, you might have to undergo a pre-policy health check-up.

Tips to Choose the Right Health Plan

Whether you’re switching providers or buying a new health insurance policy, you must carefully consider all your options. Here are some crucial factors you should think about to purchase the best health insurance plan:

The Coverage

Make sure you opt for a plan that provides enough coverage for the future. Consider medical inflation costs and pick a sum insured amount accordingly.

Additional Benefits

Some people want specific benefits with their policy. For example, an individual may need maternity cover in the future or want to safeguard themselves from the cost of treating a critical illness. Some policies offer these benefits as add-ons only, so make sure you choose wisely.

Network Hospital

Cashless claims have made life easier for health insurance policyholders across India. But you can only make a cashless claim at a network hospital. Before you purchase or port your policy, check the list of network hospitals and ensure your preferred centre is on the list.

Purchasing or porting your health insurance policy does not have to be overwhelming. With these tips, you can easily make the change and get the cover you need.

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