Team AckoJul 22, 2021
A health insurance policy can provide a financial safety net only if it is active. An expired policy is equivalent to having no health insurance coverage. One loses all the benefits offered by their insurer if they forget to renew the expired health insurance policy in time. Thus, it becomes imperative to know how to renew an expired health insurance policy online or by other means.
In this article, we will take a look at various aspects of a lapsed health insurance policy and what you, as a policyholder, can do to avoid having a lapsed health policy. Scroll down to read more.
A lapsed policy is a policy that is no longer in force. The terms and conditions of such a policy do not apply to the people who are bound under them. In terms of health insurance, policy gets lapsed if the policyholder does not renew it in time, i.e. when the policyholder does not pay the premium of the policy after the grace period ends. Thus, the policyholder cannot avail the benefits provided under the health insurance policy. In case he/she and the nominees of the policy suffer from any health issue, they will have to bear the expenses from their pocket. Here the health insurance company cannot provide monetary aid because they have a lapsed health insurance policy.
It is advised that a policyholder should renew their lapsed policy as soon as possible. This will help in avoiding the financial implication that a health issue can have on the policyholder.
When you realise that your health insurance policy has lapsed, you should immediately get in touch with your insurance company and seek to renew the existing policy. In case this is not possible you may have to buy a fresh health insurance policy. Buying a new policy can be costly as compared to renewing the existing policy because you lose the benefits and discounts that accumulate over the years.
Grace period in health insurance is the time when the policyholder can renew the health insurance policy by not losing the benefits and discounts provided by the policy. Note that one cannot make a claim during the grace period. Thus, it is advisable to always renew the policy before the expiry date, i.e. before the grace period begins. Usually, the grace period for renewal of health insurance ranges from 15 to 30 days depending upon the terms and conditions of the health insurance company.
This section discusses ways on how to renew expired health insurance. Buying or renewing a health insurance policy online is the most preferred method these days due to the convenience and ease of access that online methods provide. One can buy or renew the policy from the comfort of their home. They can quickly run a comparison on which policy will suit their needs. Plus virtual payment ensures that there is no delay in renewing the policy. Let’s take a look at how to renew a health insurance policy online along with the required documents:
Also, read: Who is Eligible for Group Health Insurance?
You may require the soft copies of the following documents while buying or renewing your health insurance policy online:
Previous policy (if applicable)
For renewing your health insurance policy online, you will require basic knowledge about how websites or mobile applications work. Nowadays, insurance companies go out of their way to build an easy and user-friendly interface. All you need to do is read the instructions given on your screen and make an informed choice when it comes to buying a particular health insurance plan.
It is very easy to complete the health insurance policy renewal process through a website. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Visit your preferred insurance company’s website, for example, www.acko.com. Next, search for the health insurance page.
Step 2: Go through the list of available health insurance policies and select the one that suits your needs.
Step 3: Complete the purchase by reading the terms and conditions and rechecking the selected coverage. Finally, make payment and receive your health insurance policy.
The process of renewing a health insurance policy through a mobile application is very similar to renewing the policy on the insurer’s website. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Download the insurance company’s mobile application and log in using the said process.
Step 2: Once you access your account, you can take a look at various health insurance plans and select the one that fits your requirements.
Step 3:Complete the purchase by reading the terms and conditions and rechecking the selected coverage. Finally, make payment and receive your health insurance policy.
Renewing a health insurance policy offline is the traditional method. Those policyholders who are not comfortable with using online applications can use the offline method to renew their policy. This way is time-consuming as compared to other methods. You can get in touch directly with the insurance company or an insurance agent to renew your health insurance policy. They will guide you through the steps and documents required for the renewal process. Usually, a proposal form, previous policy, age proof, ID proof, address proof, etc. are required to apply for a renewal. Your agent or the insurance company may also help you select the right plan.
In an ideal situation, one should renew health insurance before the expiry date. However, the policyholder will have to face the following consequences in case of failure to renew the policy in time:
As the name suggests, No Claim Bonus is a discount for not raising a health insurance claim in the previous policy period. It can remain intact only if no claims are raised and if the policy is renewed in time. If a policyholder fails to renew the health insurance policy, their NCB will drop to zero, and he/she will lose this discount altogether.
An expired health policy does not provide coverage and health issues are unpredictable. If a policyholder or his/her nominees suffers from a health issue after the expiry of the policy, they cannot raise a claim. This can have deep financial implications on the policyholder as they need to bear the cost of the medical emergency.
The waiting period in a health insurance policy is the time during which the policyholder cannot raise a claim for specific health issues. Common medical problems that have a waiting period on them are diabetes, hypertension, asthma, thyroid, etc. A waiting period can last from a few months to a few years. When you do not renew a health insurance policy, the delayed time is not considered under the waiting period. The insurance company will count the waiting period only when the policy is active.
One can port a health insurance policy from one insurance company to another. Only active policies can be ported. Thus, any gap in renewing the policy can create a cause of concern for the new insurer and your request for portability may get rejected.
Some insurance companies allow lifelong renewability on their health insurance policies if they are renewed in time. The policyholder may lose these benefits if the policy expires and is not put up for renewal for a long time.
A health insurance policy contains details like the date of expiry, coverage, policy number, etc. You can easily understand the last date of your policy with the help of these details. You need to remember this date in order to renew your health insurance policy in time. It is advised that you should renew your health insurance policy at least 10 days before expiry. This is beneficial because you can look for better coverage each time while renewing the policy and you can set the policy start date for when your previous policy expires. Here are a few tips to avoid the lapse of your health insurance policy if you can’t remember the date of expiry:
Most of us have smartphones these days. You can set a reminder on your phone and renew your health insurance policy on the set date. A simple phone also has an option to set reminders. Use them to avoid missing the date of renewal.
Your insurance company will mostly have a relationship manager assigned to you for conveying such updates. He/she will get in touch with you before the arrival of your policy’s expiry date. Answer such calls or call back when you understand that the insurer is trying to get in touch with you
Many insurance companies send updates to their policyholders via email. Don’t forget to check your emails which will help you renew your health insurance policy in time.
With the advent of technology, the convenience factor has increased in every field imaginable. There are many reasons why one should choose to renew online health insurance online as compared to using the traditional offline method. The following reasons will help you understand why buying health insurance online is better than buying the policy offline:
Freedom to choose from various health insurance plans available in the market.
Option to compare policies from various insurance companies.
Secure payments through online transactions.
Low-cost policies due to the absence of middleman or commission agents.
Terms and conditions are easily available for review on each insurer’s webpage.
Also, read: Health Insurance for COVID-19
Always remember to renew your health insurance policy before its expiry. This will ensure continued coverage and no loss of discounts. Here are other things that you should keep in mind while renewing your health policy:
An insurance company may ask for a health checkup at any given moment if they suspect that your lifestyle may cause an increased number of claims.
A policyholder should always review the coverage he/she is buying before making the final payment for renewing the health insurance plan. There could be a number of reasons for you to consider making changes in the health insurance policy. For example, there could be an addition of a newborn baby in the family.
One should also consider buying suitable add-ons while renewing health insurance. This is because your insurance company may offer new add-ons that suit your requirements, or your needs would have changed during the previous policy period.
Similar to offering new add-ons or plans, an insurance company may also make changes in their terms and conditions. Thus, it is important that you keep yourself updated with the latest terms of the health insurance company.
Is it okay if I ask my insurance agent to renew my health insurance policy on my behalf?
This depends upon your understanding of health insurance. If you know the exact coverage that is beneficial to you and your family, you can go ahead and ask your insurance agent to buy specific coverage on your behalf and make payment for the coverage that you have chosen. If you are not familiar with how health insurance works then you need to take efforts to buy or renew the policy by yourself, as this way you will understand your plan better and you can make an informed choice.
I am not happy with my current health insurance company. How can I choose a better insurer?
You can choose the insurance company from which you wish to buy a health insurance plan. If you find the best insurance company, you will receive the best health insurance services and the chances of claim settlement also increase. Ask your family members or friends about their experience with their insurer. Next, you can check the social media handles of the insurance company to take a look at the reviews from existing customers. Choose an insurer that has a happy customer base and high star ratings.
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