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Individual health policies can be migrated to a family floater plan

Insurance concept, man protecting a family with his hand (istockphoto)

I am 35 years old and thinking of buying health insurance. I want to know if I get hospitalized for suspected covid-19 and later test negative, will the policy cover hospitalization cost?

—Name withheld on request

Standard health plans cover the cost of hospitalization for treatment and exclude the cost of hospitalization for diagnostics. So, if you are infected with the virus and incur medical expenses on treatment, then the policy would cover the expenses. In case you are tested negative, you would not have undergone any treatment. So, the policy would not cover such incurred expenses.

Moreover, in most suspected cases, quarantine is usually done at home and generally does not result in hospitalization.

My wife and I have individual health policies from the same insurer. Both these covers were bought before we got married. The policies have two years of standard waiting period for any pre-existing disease. This waiting period ends sometime later this year. Going ahead, I would like to have a single family floater with the same insurance company covering both of us. If I do this, will we get to carry forward the waiting periods we have already completed? What are the relevant rules?

—Ravindra S.

You can migrate your existing individual plans to a floater plan with the same insurer. You will be able to carry forward the lapsed waiting period in the earlier individual plans to the new floater plan.

Suppose a family floater plan has a two-year waiting period for pre-existing diseases, then no new waiting period would be applicable. However, if the waiting period is longer, say, three years, then the balance waiting period of one year would still be applicable.

The carry-over benefit would be available only up to the sum assured of the previous plans. Any enhancement in the sum insured would carry the standard waiting period.

In order to migrate your existing health insurance plans, you need to inform your existing insurer. Generally, insurers ask for a notice of at least 45 days before the renewal dates of your individual policies. The insurer may require you to fill a form to execute this. If the renewal dates for both of you does not coincide, then the first up should be migrated to a family floater. When the subsequent plan comes up for renewal, then the concerned person could be added to the floater plan. Insurers may have different ways of implementing this change. So, you should let your insurer know upfront about your intent, and then reconfirm the above steps.

Abhishek Bondia is principal officer and managing director, SecureNow.in. Queries and views at [email protected]

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