Health Insurance Renewal
Health insurance is an essential aspect of financial planning. Along with providing varied benefits, a health insurance policy offers financial security during medical emergencies. Usually, health insurance is valid for one to three years at a stretch, post which, a policy would need renewal. Many times, people simply forget to renew their health insurance or miss the renewal deadline. If you want to continue being medically and financially covered, you need to make sure you go through the health insurance renewal process before the deadline expires.
What Happens if Health Insurance is Not Renewed Before Expiry?
Failing to renew your health insurance policy on time can lead to your policy lapsing and you losing out on your health insurance benefits. Moreover, you would also lose out on any accumulated bonuses (such as the no-claim bonus) or rewards. Let’s take a look at some of the consequences of forgetting to renew your health insurance policy:
Policyholders are rewarded with a No-Claim Bonus (NCB) in health insurance when they do not raise a single claim against their policy. The accumulated reward points can then be used for the reduction of the premium at the time of health insurance renewal. However, failing to renew health insurance on time might lead to losing out on the NCB benefits.
If you are not satisfied with the features and benefits provided by your existing insurer, you can proceed to port your health insurance policy to a new insurer without losing any accumulated rewards or benefits. However, upon failing to renew your policy on time (whether with the existing insurer or a new one), you will have to undergo the process of buying a new health insurance plan altogether.
When a policy lapses due to failure of health insurance renewal on time, you have to buy a new plan. Purchasing a new health insurance policy means you have to undergo the application process again. Moreover, it also means you must complete another waiting period applicable to your new health insurance plan.
Benefits of Health Insurance Policy Renewal
Besides uninterrupted peace during medical emergencies, renewing your health insurance policy on time has several benefits:
Some insurers usually stop covering individuals or do not provide health insurance after a certain age, mainly due to pre-existing illnesses or the risk of chronic health conditions. Therefore, it is best to buy a health insurance plan when you are younger. Besides, it becomes imperative to renew the policy on time to avoid any discrepancies in your coverage.
Health insurance is one of the best tax-saving tools. The premium paid towards the policy can be claimed for deductions under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. So, to continue getting these tax benefits on health insurance premiums, renew your policy before it expires.
Health Insurance Premiums Increase with Age
As stated earlier, most insurers avoid offering health insurance coverage to older individuals due to their increased health risks. Moreover, those who do offer this policy charge expensive premium rates. Simply put, health insurance premiums increase as you grow older. Therefore, while it is best to buy health insurance early on in life, renewing your health policy on time is equally essential.
Any lapse in your existing policy will lead to its termination. This means you might have to buy a new health insurance plan altogether, which could turn out to be expensive if you are older.
How to Renew Health Insurance Through the Insurer’s Website?
You can follow the steps given below to renew your health insurance through your insurance provider’s website:
Step 1: Go to the official ‘Health Insurance Renewal’ page of your insurance provider’s website.
Step 2: On the form available on this page, enter your existing policy details and other required information.
Step 3: A set of ‘Health Insurance Renewal’ options will appear on the screen.
Step 4: Choose a health insurance renewal plan that suits your needs, as well as any add-on covers that you may need.
Step 5: Pay the online insurance premiums for your chosen renewal plan.
Once all of the above steps are complete, your health insurance policy will be shortly renewed.
Factors to Consider While Renewing a Health Insurance Policy
As we know, renewing health insurance online is a straightforward process. Below, we have enlisted a few tips that will help you make an informed decision during health insurance renewal online.
Renew Your Policy Before the Due Date
We cannot emphasise enough the importance of health insurance renewal before the due date. In case you miss the deadline, the insurer will provide a grace period, after which, the policy will lapse if not renewed.
Understand Your Health Insurance Needs
As your family grows, so do your responsibilities. As such, your health-centric requirements may change over time as well. Therefore, it is best to review the policy requirements during online health insurance renewal.
Continuing with the above point, the coverage of the initial policy may not be sufficient for your growing family. Therefore, it is best to buy a health insurance plan that allows you to enhance the sum insured in the future. While it may not be possible to increase the sum insured during the policy term, you can certainly do so at the time of renewal.
Besides, if you are worried about the policy cost due to the enhanced sum insured, you can use the health insurance premium calculator available on Bajaj Markets to determine the same.
If you want to ensure that the health insurance claim settlement process is smooth, it is best to be honest with the insurer regarding your health issues. So, if you acquire any new illnesses before the due date, make them known during the health insurance renewal process. That way, the coverage will be extended to these diseases in case of future emergencies.
Grace Period for Health Insurance Renewal
Grace period in health insurance refers to the timeframe provided by your existing insurer to renew the policy. You must pay the necessary health insurance renewal premium during this period to continue getting medical coverage. Typically, the grace period for health insurance renewal is between 30 to 90 days depending on the insurer and begins after the expiration date of your policy.
Failing to renew your health insurance policy during the grace period will lead to policy lapse. Further, you will lose out on the accumulated benefits of your health plan, like the waiting period and the No-Claim Bonus.
Premium For Health Insurance Renewal
Premiums refer to the amount of money that you have to pay to the insurance company to keep your policy activated and to continue enjoying medical coverage benefits. When you are renewing your health insurance policy, there’s a chance that the premiums you pay for the policy will change. The cost of premiums may increase or decrease depending on a lot of factors such as insurance claims made, any chronic conditions developed, the No Claim Bonus, etc. The cost of your medical insurance renewal premiums may also go up due to medical inflation. However, it’s not necessary that the cost of premiums would change, as it depends on the health insurance company’s decisions.
Can You Transfer Health Insurance Policy During Renewal?
Many people may not be aware of this, but the policyholder has the option to transfer their health insurance policy from their existing company to a different company at the time of renewal of medical insurance. The option to switch insurance providers is called ‘insurance portability’ and can be utilised at the time of renewing your health insurance.
As per the guidelines provided by the IRDAI, you should raise a request for insurance portability at least 45 days before the expiration of your existing policy. In case there is a delay in your request for insurance portability, the new insurance company has the right to reject your request.
When you transfer your policy from one company to another, your waiting period and no claim bonus benefits are also transferred. However, you should make sure to transfer your policy before it lapses, or you may have to end up buying a brand new policy and lose all of the benefits.
Things to Remember at the Time of Renewing your Health Insurance Plan
Here are some important things to keep in mind while you are renewing your health insurance plan:
Read the Policy Terms and Conditions
It is vital to ensure that you read the policy terms and conditions carefully so that you are aware of all the inclusions and exclusions as well as any important rules that are a part of the legal terms of the policy.
If you hadn’t purchased any add-ons with your original policy, you should consider buying important add-on covers like critical illness cover, maternity cover, top-up health insurance, etc.
Work on Improving Your Fitness
If you pay attention to your health and work on improving your fitness levels, you may enjoy lower premiums. People who are fitter can benefit from lower premiums whereas people who are unfit and suffering from health conditions may be subjected to higher premiums.
Consider increasing your sum insured if your medical needs have increased or you have moved to a higher cost of living area. You should also consider reviewing your sum insured if you have developed a health condition.
Renew Expired Health Policy Offline
If your health insurance policy expired but is still under the grace period, visit your preferred insurance provider or an insurance agent and get your policy renewed with them by choosing a plan and paying the premiums.
If your health insurance policy has expired beyond the grace period, you will have no choice but to buy a new policy. To buy a new policy offline, visit the office of your preferred insurance company or visit an insurance agent nearby. Take a look at all the health insurance policy options they are offering and buy a policy that you believe best suits your needs.
Tips to Avoid Lapses in Health Insurance Renewal
Here are some beneficial tips that can help you remember to renew your health insurance policy on time:
You should set a reminder to renew your health insurance policy at least a few weeks before the date of its expiration.
Your health insurance provider will most likely call you before your insurance is set to expire as a reminder to renew your policy. Make sure you do not avoid calls from unknown numbers at least for a few weeks before the policy expires.
You will also receive email reminders from your insurance provider regarding the renewal of your policy, so make sure you do not disregard or ignore the emails you may receive.
Mark the date of your policy expiry on the calendar in your house, so it will also serve as a reminder to renew your policy.
Wrapping it Up!
Most times, people think that simply purchasing a health insurance policy covers their family’s medical needs. However, the responsibility does not end here. While a significant part of your financial responsibilities is taken care of, health insurance renewal must be done on time to continue enjoying its benefits. Besides, there are a few things, as discussed above, that you need to be mindful of during the renewal process. Doing so will help you and your family to enjoy the maximum benefits of your health insurance policy. If you don’t have health insurance yet and wish to buy an individual health insurance plan or a family health insurance plan, you can get it from the options available at Bajaj Markets.