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Not happy with your Health Insurance Company – Change It!
Oct 03, 2011 | 184 VIEWS

Poor service, inadequate coverage, bad claim settlement experience - if you are not happy with your existing health insurance company or policy, then the good news for you is that you can ditch your health insurer for a new one. Health insurance portability is here and you do not need to continue with your health insurance company just because you fear losing the accumulated benefits.


Health insurance policies and companies differ from each other in a lot of ways. Some insurance companies offer better policy features or services than their counterparts. There are companies which go to great lengths to design better products, offer excellent service that make a customer feel like a king. Select insurers have shunned TPAs and devised their in-house teams to effectively manage claims. TPAs are third party administrators who are outsourced to work as an intermediary between the insurer and the policyholder. The benefit of this is that the customer directly interacts with his or her insurance company at the time of making a claim.

Attractive Health Insurance Plans

Innovative and unique plans have hit the markets in recent times which offer a wider and better coverage than the old, vanilla plans. For instance Star Health Insurance has a policy for diabetic patients called Diabetes Safe, another breakthrough policy for HIV/AIDS patients. A policy for HIV/AIDS patients was unheard of, as other companies listed it under their exhaustive list of exclusions. There was a time when no policy would cover non-allopathic treatments, but now there are unique health plans available which cover Ayurvedic, Homeopathic, Naturopathy and such treatments. Pregnancy and maternity expenses were an exclusion and most insurers would not provide a cover for this; but some new plans have coverage for these too.

Until recently, it was not possible to cover all members of a family under one health insurance policy. But thanks to the efforts of some insurance companies, there are new plans available in the markets that let you cover not just your immediate family members but also your extended family members like grandparents, grandchildren, in-laws etc in one single policy. Max Bupa Family First is one such policy wherein you can cover up to 13 extended family members.

Pre-existing disease coverage is a big concern for customers who have suffered some medical condition in the past. Most health insurance companies have a waiting period of 48 months, i.e 4 long years before they cover pre-existing ailments. A few of them have a 36 month waiting period. Star Unique Insurance Policy shines brilliantly in comparison with these other policies as it has reduced the waiting period to only 11 months.

There are unique policies which now cover expenses like cost of spectacles, hearing aids etc. Earlier health insurance policies had a maximum age limit for renewal capped at 60 or 65 years. New plans from companies like Apollo Health Insurance, Max Bupa Health Insurance offer guaranteed lifelong renewability. The premiums for innovative plans may be a little higher but the variety of coverage offered is extremely attractive.

Health Insurance Portability a boon

With such an extensive list of new and unique health insurance plans, existing policyholders may find other policies better suited to their needs. Claim settlement ratio, service standards and multiple other factors could also be a reason for some policyholders to have the desire to switch over to another insurance company.

In such a scenario health insurance portability by IRDA comes as a blessing. You can now port a policy without losing out on the benefits earned. These benefits could be the no claim bonus or the credit earned on pre-existing disease earned in your old policy. For instance, you have already served 2 year waiting period on your old policy and now want to move to a new policy which has a waiting period of 3 years; in this case you will only have to wait for another 1 year before the new company covers your per-existing conditions. Your no-claim bonus will also be transferred to the new policy.

If you have a Group Health Insurance Policy, you can port it to an individual health policy as well.

Words of caution!

  • Don’t just jump to another policy without assessing your needs completely
  • Have a valid reason for switching to a new company
  • Read the terms & conditions and exclusion list carefully

The grass always looks greener on the other side but reality may be completely different from illusions. You have the power to make your own decisions, so use it wisely.

Sameera Bootwala
Sameera Bootwala aggregates news on anything related to insurance in India. Keeps you updated.

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