As India's medical costs soar, a health insurance plan is essential for their financial well-being. So, if their existing plan hasn't met their expectations or details they may have overlooked, they can port the policy. Here's how porting can come to their rescue.
For example, if the plan has sub-limits on room rent, it can potentially bleed your pocket in medical expenses. Suppose, you have a Rs 5 lakh policy with a room rent eligibility of Rs. 4,000. In that case, if you select a room for Rs 6,000 per day, you would pay the extra Rs 2,000.
Here is another catch. The hospital will charge higher rates for all procedures based on the room type. There may also be a fine print in your policy stating proportional payment for all other expenses based on the room you are entitled. Consequently, your insurer won’t cover the higher hospital rates, leading to a substantial reduction in your claim amount.
In such a scenario, porting to a policy without sub-limits would make more sense
Says Shreeraj Deshpande, head of health business with SBI General Insurance, “Porting brings the power of flexibility to policyholders. It offers the freedom to switch insurers without losing accumulated benefits and waiting periods. This empowers individuals to tailor their coverage to changing needs and preferences, ensuring comprehensive protection.
“Porting is applicable to all types of retail and group indemnity health insurance products, including individual sum insured and family floater sum insured policies.” Indemnity-based policies are those where the insurer covers actual hospitalisation costs within the insured limit.
Porting helps policyholders to transfer credits earned for pre-existing conditions and time-bound exclusions, a better option than shifting between plans of the same insurer or transitioning to a different insurer and losing these benefits.
Says Apaar Kasliwal, executive director at PolicyBoss, “With portability, you can customise your new policy that suits your requirements better. You can change the nominee, increase the sum insured, and change your plan to focus on a specific disease.”
For porting, one must apply at least 45 days before the renewal date of the current policy. However, insurers might decline your porting request due to factors like age, premium payment gaps, or if you have many claims with your current insurer. The insurer has 15 days to accept or reject your application. In case of rejection, you can either renew your existing policy or purchase a new one from a different insurer.
Apaar Kasliwal further says, “It is better to switch to an insurer with a wide network of hospitals and with a better claim settlement ratio. In case you have an older policy that’s not in sync with the coverages offered by most health insurance plans today, it is strongly advised that you consider porting your policy to ensure your cover benefits are at par with the market offerings.”