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How to retain your company’s health insurance even after getting laid-off

By porting from your company’s group health insurance policy to an individual plan, you can retain the benefits of the corporate medical cover and ensure that your family (and you) continue to remain protected in case of medical emergencies.

September 04, 2023 / 06:49 AM IST
Employers' group health insurance

IRDAI rules permit porting, or switching, from group health insurance to individual insurance at the time of exit

India has long been a vibrant economy, teeming with numerous employees across diverse sectors. Yet, across the ever-changing job landscape, one thing that tends to unsettle individuals is the fear of losing their company’s health insurance benefits post a lay-off, retirement, or when the employer discontinues the coverage.

In such scenarios, the question looms: How can one efficiently manage one’s medical expenses?

Fortunately, the answer lies in an often-overlooked option: porting your group health insurance policy. Portability provides a safety net, allowing employees to transition seamlessly from a group to an individual health insurance plan.

This strategy not only ensures continuous health coverage but also offers the flexibility to select a personalised plan catering to one's unique healthcare needs.

Also read: How to convert your employer-provided group health cover into your personal policy 

Porting from group health to individual

Let’s, for instance, take the case of Ramesh Mehra*, who worked for a leading tech firm in Mumbai. Like many, he cherished the comforts of his job, especially the group health insurance that kept his family of four protected.

However, life took an unexpected turn when he was laid off following a company restructuring. The first question that came to his mind was, "What about our medical coverage?"

Ramesh discovered that he could port his group health insurance policy. This option became his safety net, ensuring that his family wouldn't be left vulnerable. It allowed him to move from a group to an individual health insurance plan, offering the flexibility to choose a tailored plan that best suited his family's needs.

Also read: Moneycontrol-Securenow Health Insurance Ratings: Your guide to picking the most suitable health plan 

Here's how he made it happen.

Digging into the fine print: Ramesh started by thoroughly reviewing the portability clause in his group policy. Knowing the terms and conditions related to portability laid the foundation for his transition.
Reaching out to HR: He communicated with the HR department at least one-and-a-half months before his last day, which helped make the switch smoother and avoid any surprises.

Preserving existing benefits: Ramesh was relieved to learn that all the benefits of his corporate group insurance would remain unchanged when ported to an individual policy.

Document submission: Once he selected an individual policy, he furnished the necessary documents to begin the porting process.

Waiting period: After submitting his documents, there was a short wait. This interval gave his insurer time to review his application and decide on the terms of the new policy.

Know the continuity benefits 

Waiting period waiver: Ramesh had been with his company for five years. Hence, the typical waiting period for a new policy was waived.

Tax benefits: Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act of India, he enjoyed deductions on the premium paid towards the new policy.

For Ramesh, and many like him, layoffs or retirement shouldn’t mean compromising on health cover. By porting, they can ensure continuity and safeguard their loved ones. Whenever life throws a curveball, remember Ramesh's story — and know that policy porting could be the silver lining.

Note: *The character and event appearing in this article is entirely fictitious and use for illustration purposes. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Sanchit Malik is Cofounder & CEO, Pazcare
first published: Sep 4, 2023 06:46 am

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