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Key things to know before you port your health insurance

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If you have already subscribed to a health insurance policy and are not satisfied with the services on offer, you can port your cover to one of the new age and more comprehensive insurers available in the market.

Key things to know before you port your health insurance
Porting is a term made ubiquitous by mobile companies. Since the time the telecom wars started, mobile companies have been trying to entice users into porting from their existing service providers to their companies. Interestingly, your mobile number is not the only thing you can port!
If you have already subscribed to a health insurance policy and are not satisfied with the services on offer, you can port your cover to one of the new age and more comprehensive insurers available in the market. However, before you do so, here are four things you must keep in mind.
The Age Factor:
With advancing age comes a host of health issues that your current insurer might not be covering or might be charging a high premium for coverage. It is very important to check the fine print on age related issues like co-payments, waiting period\sub limits for certain diseases, if any before you consider porting your health cover. If you are above the age of 45 and have a good health insurance policy with your current service provider, it is advisable to stick to the plan as porting could avoid any claim related hassles.
Date of Expiry: Along with age, another factor that should be considered is the date of your current health insurance policy’s expiry. Do not wait till the last moment to port your cover as the process may take longer than you estimate. You should approach the new health insurer at least 45 days prior to the expiry of the existing policy so that the policy can be issued on time without hassle as otherwise you may be left unprotected in case of a medical emergency. It is best to begin the process 60 -days in advance to avoid any last-minute challenges.
Medical Tests: In health insurance, prevention is always better than cure. You might recall the host of tests that you had to undergo before purchasing the insurance cover the first time. All those tests, perhaps even more, may be conducted by the new insurer before they sign you on as a customer. These new tests are done with the aim of uncovering any new medical conditions which may have emerged. If you are worried about some new health issue, it is better to stick with the old insurer who might already be covering you for the same as you might need insurance for possible treatments without any fresh waiting period.
Nature of Plan: One last important thing to keep in mind before porting your health insurance policy is the nature of the plan you already have and the new plan. One must thoroughly understand the coverages, waiting periods of illness\procedures and exclusions other than the standard exclusions, co-payments, room restrictions and sub-limits under new product. The Cumulative Bonus, if any needs to be accrued as enhanced sum insured with payment of higher premium.
One must also check the claim servicing approach of the company before taking decision to port.
Now that you are aware of all the points to be checked before deciding to port your health insurance policy, start assessing the available plans and make a well-informed decision.
The author, Dr Shreeraj Deshpande, is Chief Operating Officer at Future Generali India Insurance. The views expressed are personal