Health insurance policy portability from July 1

New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) In a big relief to dissatisfiedhealth insurance policy holders, sectoral regulator Irda todayallowed them portability -- shifting policies from one insurerto another on same terms -- from July 1.

"The Authority has examined various issues involved inthe portability of health insurance plan and has issuednecessary orders for effecting portability which will beimplemented from July 01, 2011," Insurance Regulatory andDevelopment Authority (Irda) said in a statement.

The portability facility will allow policy holders toswitch over to another insurance company with the sameconditions.

"The accepting insurer shall provide cover, at leastup to the sum assured in the previous insurance policy," theregulator said.

The new facility will also help those policy holders whostick to one insurer throughout life for fear of losing thecover for Pre Existing Diseases (PED).

"It is essential to protect the policyholders againstdiscontinuity and consequential loss of PED cover by makingthe health insurance plans portable across the insurancecompanies," Irda said.

In general, health insurance policies have specificexclusions for PED for a specified period of cover during theinitial year, and policy holders do not get this cover in theevent of changing insurance firm. It was considered"detrimental to competition".

Irda decision comes after it received severalrepresentations from consumer associations and policyholdersfor enabling portability of health insurance policies.

Currently, Irda allows portability of motor insurancepolices. .

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