A health insurance policy is a must if individuals want to protect their savings from being drained on expensive medical treatments when a medical emergency strikes. Many of your clients are aware of the need of a health plan and invest in a policy to protect their finances. But are they able to buy the best health insurance policy for themselves?
There are more than two dozen health insurance companies in the market which offer a range of health insurance policies. As such, when buying a health insurance plan, your clients are spoiled for choice. They have the option of more than a hundred health plans to choose from. Even if they have bought one policy, if they find another policy which offers better benefits, they can switch their coverage when they renew. This is called porting of health insurance plans. Do you know what it is all about and how can it benefit your clients? Let’s explore –
What is porting in health insurance policies?
Porting means changing between health insurance plans. Your clients can port between one health plan to another plan of the same insurer or change the insurance company entirely. When an individual ports, his/her renewal benefits can be carried forward to the new health insurance plan that he/she buys. Porting, therefore, allows policyholders to change their health insurance policies without losing out on the renewal benefits of their existing plan.
When should your clients port?
Porting of health insurance plans should be done in the following circumstances –
- When your clients find better and suitable coverage benefits in another health insurance plan
- When your clients find a lower premium rate in another health insurance plan for the same coverage benefits that they are enjoying in their existing health plan
- If they are dissatisfied with the post sales service provided by their current insurer
- When your clients find an insurance company which offers an easier claim settlement process than their existing insurer
Benefits of porting
When your clients choose to port their health insurance policy, they can enjoy the following benefits –
- They can get a more inclusive scope of coverage in another health plan
- They can save on the premium outgo if the new plan is offering them lower premium rates
- The no claim bonus which they have accumulated in their previous policy can be carried forward to the new plan if the new insurance company allows
- They get credit for the waiting period which has been spent in the existing policy. In the new policy the waiting period would be reduced by the period which has expired in the earlier plan. So, for instance, if your client has an existing policy which ran for 2 years before porting and in the new policy the waiting period is 4 years, when he/she ports, the waiting period in the new policy would be 2 years. The 2 year period of the last policy would be credited in the new one
- No additional charge is levied by the insurance company when the policyholder ports out of its policy. Even the new insurer does not charge any additional premium for the porting request.
- The process of porting is quite easy and convenient. Your clients just have to inform their existing insurance company and send a porting request. The new insurance company should also be informed of the porting. They can, then, select the policy that they want to buy and port to the policy keeping their renewal benefits intact
Things to remember before porting
While porting of a health insurance policy is quite simple and beneficial, here are some things which you should educate your clients to consider before they port –
- Porting is allowed only when the health insurance policy is up for renewal. The policy cannot be ported midway during the coverage tenure
- To port your clients should send in their porting request at least 45 days before the renewal date. The insurance company should be informed earlier about any possible porting
- Even the new insurance company should be made aware of porting of the health plan beforehand
- The increase in sum insured due to cumulative bonus might not be recognized by the new insurance company. If the client opts for an increased sum insured, the new insurance company would charge premiums accordingly
The bottom line
Since there are hundreds of health insurance policies in the market, there might be a better health insurance plan for your clients than their existing coverage. If you find a better policy for your clients, advise them to port so that they can avail better benefits. Porting is simple, free and allows your clients to have the best health insurance coverage. Moreover, even your sales would increase when your clients port to a new plan. So, while porting is beneficial for your clients, it is beneficial for you too and you should recommend porting if it is in the interests of your clients.