New Delhi: If not satisfied with the services of existing health insurer, you can change the company without losing policy benefits as the long-awaited portability comes into force from Saturday.

The health insurance portability facility which was earlier scheduled to become operational from July 1, however, was postponed because of delay in preparation of software architecture.

"The health insurance portability will come into effect from October 1," D R Kaarthikeyan, Director of Star Health Insurance said.

The facility, Damien Marmion, CEO of Max Bupa Health Insurance, said "is expected to bring in new benchmarks in delivery mechanisms and product innovation in the industry".

He further said with the implementation of portability, "the insurers will need to enhance their service capabilities and engage in constant innovation to service their existing and potential customers".
 
In February, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) had issued necessary orders for implementing portability to allow policy holders to switch over to another insurance company with the same terms and conditions.
    
"The accepting insurer shall provide cover, at least up to the sum assured in the previous insurance policy," the regulator had said.
    
The new facility will also help those policy holders who stick to one insurer throughout life for fear of losing the cover for Pre-Existing Diseases (PED).

(Agencies)