As people age, their health condition often deteriorates and the need for health insurance increases. However, if you don’t have a health policy after retirement, you need to depend on your retirement corpus to pay the medical bills. It is often suggested to get a separate health policy along with the company-provided group health cover so that when you change the job or when you retire, you can continue to get health insurance coverage. However, many people can’t get a separate health insurance policy and are on the verge of retirement. What should they do? Especially if they have pre-existing health issues, getting a new health policy close to their retirement age can become very difficult. Well, you can use the option of porting your group health policy to an individual plan! Yes, that’s possible and here’s how you can do it.
Get In Touch With The Company Providing The Group Health Cover
When contacting the current insurer, get the policy details they offer when porting to an individual plan. Check the premium, cover size, and list of inclusions and exclusions. IRDAI’s rule stipulates every insurer allow the insured person to port from a group to an individual policy when the group policy is discontinued, or the insured person expresses their will to do so. However, the porting is subject to the process of underwriting. As rules mentioned in the IRDAI guidelines on migration and portability of health insurance policies, “A policyholder desirous of migrating his/her policy shall be allowed to apply to the insurance company to migrate the policy along with all members of the family, if any, at least 30 days before the premium renewal date of his/her existing policy. However, if the insurer is willing to consider even less than 30 days, the insurer may do so”.
You Can’t Change The Insurance Company While Porting Health Policy
When you migrate from the group to an individual health policy, you can’t change the insurance provider. You must opt for the same insurer’s plan to migrate your health policy. However, after a year of migration to an individual health policy, you can again port your insurance policy, and at that time, you can also change the policy provider.
Benefits Of Porting From Group To Individual Health Policy
If you purchase a new policy after retirement, you must follow the process again, such as undergoing health checkups, adhering to stipulated waiting periods, etc. However, suppose you have already completed the waiting period in your group health policy and are migrating to an individual health policy. In that case, such benefit is also transferred at the same time. When you migrate to an individual health policy, you can get more customized products and better coverage than the group policy.
Migration from the group to an individual policy is subject to underwriting and terms and conditions as mentioned in the policy document. So, it’s always better to apply for porting your policy at least 3 to 4 years before retiring from the job. If the porting request is rejected, you’ll still have sufficient time to get an individual health policy directly from the insurer of your choice.
The author is an independent financial journalist