Renewing the health insurance policy before the due date is important. Every health insurance policy has a due date on which it expires. This means the policy does not remain valid after the due date. In insurance jargon, it is called policy lapse. Thus, health insurance renewal is as important as purchasing health insurance.
There are many consequences of missing out on your health insurance renewal date. Let’s look at what all will entail in the event of policy lapse due to the non-renewal of the health insurance policy.
Consequences of Missing Health Insurance Renewal Date
Start from Scratch
If you miss health insurance renewal and the policy lapses, you need to purchase a new health insurance policy. You need to undergo all the processes again, such as submitting documents, undergoing medical tests, getting approval, etc. You already underwent all the processes earlier has no relevance because the previous policy ceases to exist, and you have to purchase a brand new policy.
Loss of No Claim Bonus
No Claim Bonus is the extra amount added to the sum insured of the health insurance policy for a claim-free year. It is a reward that the insurer gives to the policyholder for not raising any claim in a policy term. The no-claim bonuses accumulate over multiple no-claim years.
The new health insurance policy that you purchase won’t consider any claim bonuses of the previous policy. If you miss the due date of health insurance renewal, and the policy lapses, the entire accumulated no claim bonuses of the policy would disappear. Thus, the benefit of not raising claims for multiple years would go down the drain.
Waiting Period Gets Reset
Health insurance policies come with waiting periods. The waiting period is a specific time period after purchasing a health insurance policy during which claims cannot be raised. The coverage by a health insurance policy commences after the waiting period ends.
In the event of failure of health insurance renewal and consequent policy lapse, you need to buy a new policy, as discussed before. The waiting period specified in the new policy would apply to you. Even though you completed the waiting period of the previous policy, it would not be relevant for the new policy, and you would be required to complete the waiting period all over again. Thus, if you are hospitalized during the waiting period of the new policy, the insurer will not compensate for the medical expenses.
Loss of Coverage for Pre-Existing Diseases
Health insurance policies cover the expenses incurred on treatments for pre-existing diseases after waiting periods ranging from 2 to 4 years. If you have completed the required waiting period, you are covered for pre-existing diseases as well. However, if you fail to renew your policy, you would have to wait for 2-4 years again to get coverage for pre-existing diseases under the new policy.
What should be done if the renewal date of the health insurance policy is missed?
If you have missed the due date of health insurance renewal, pay the premium within the grace period provided by the insurer. Most insurance companies provide a grace period of 7 days from the due date for renewing the policy. Some insurance companies are more lenient and provide a grace period of 15-30 days from the due date to pay the premium amount and renew the policy. Thus, completing the premium payment within the grace period provided by the insurer prevents the policy from getting lapsed.
If your health insurance policy has lapsed because you missed the due date for health insurance renewal and did not renew your policy even during the grace period. You can revive your lapsed policy by any of the below-mentioned methods –
- Ordinary Revival: Pay the premium amount and the applicable interest within 6 months from the date of lapse of the policy. There is no need for health check-ups in this type of revival.
- Revival on Non-Medical Grounds: If you revive your lapsed policy on non-medical grounds, then the amount revived would be less than the promised limit of non-medical assurance purchased by you.
- Revival on Medical Grounds: If you fail in both ordinary revival and revival on medical grounds, go for revival on medical grounds. The amount revived by this method depends upon the result of the medical test you need to undergo.
How to avoid missing the due date for health insurance renewal?
Remembering the due date of health insurance renewal may be difficult because you have a lot of other things on your mind. Thus, it is better to set a reminder for the due date for renewing your health insurance policy. This way, you won’t miss out on paying the premium amount before the policy expires.
Opting for automatic ECS (Electronic Clearing Service) to pay your health insurance premium effectively prevents missing out on health insurance renewal before the due date. ECS will automatically deduct the premium amount from your account balance at a certain date before the expiry of the policy term. Thus, you are not required to keep track of the due date.
Many insurance companies have links with multiple banks. Such companies allow their customers to pay the premiums through ATMs of their partner banks. This is a highly convenient way of paying health insurance premiums, effectively preventing missing the due date. Check whether your insurer is offering this facility and use it if provided.
Most health insurance companies send health insurance renewal reminders to their customers as the due date approaches. The way of email or SMS sends the reminders. You can also specifically ask for this facility from the insurer.
Missing out on health insurance renewal leads to several problems and exposes you to risks of financial losses. Even though reviving a lapsed policy is also possible, it is not a beneficial course of action because you face some losses anyway. Thus, it is essential to prevent your policy from the lapse.