Health Insurance Plans

pays for your hospital bills for diagnostics, surgery etc.

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How Can I Switch My Health Insurance Provider?

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Most people think it is necessary to tolerate poor service from their Health Insurance provider. This is because they do not want to lose the benefits of the present insurance Policy in case of switching to another insurance provider. Until recently, if you change your insurance provider then the new company would consider you as a new customer and you would have to complete the Waiting Period of one to four years in order to get the Coverage for your pre existing ailments. However, the introduction of Health Insurance Portability from 1st October, 2009 has changed all that. Portability allows the changing of insurers without having to lose out the benefits of the present policy. This means that if you have had an insurance policy for two years and have an existing ailment which will be covered after three years of purchasing the policy, then if you shift to a new insurance provider, you will have to wait only for one year.

Features of portability

Only non life insurance companies providing health insurance policy can benefit from portability. If you are working in an organization that provide its employees with group health cover, once you leave the job you can switch to an insurance policy meant for individuals or families. For this, you need to have the same insurance provider for at least one year. Such a feature is especially good for people who only have the health plan provided by the employer and is especially useful when you change from one job to another.
The period in which you can apply for portability is 45 days before you require to renew the present policy and not before or after that. You will have to submit a portability and Proposal form.

It is the right of the new insurance provider to be able to deny your application according to their own policies. For example, if the maximum eligibility age with the new Insurer is 55 years and the Policyholder is 60, the insurer has the right to reject the application.

What to look for

In order to reduce the hassle of the process of buying a new policy, you can opt for online health insurance. You should analyze the finer points of the policy carefully while deciding because you may not get a chance to change your decision later. You should not only consider the cost while analyzing the policy but also take in the consideration the features which suit your present and future requirements. For instance, rise in price with the standards of service provided by the insurer and your age.

Although your no Claim Bonus will be forwarded to your new policy, you may have to face some losses. The calculation of the Premium will be done on the basis of the improved cover.

It is a common belief that the provision of portability will lead to the improvement in the standards of customer service, the buying process might become easier, policy documents will be delivered promptly and the claims themselves will be more hassle free. Insurers may start customizing products and they may introduce innovative plans. In order to retain the policyholder, insurance providers could either keep the premium same or increase it marginally.