Health insurance firms are increasingly realising that 'Health is Wealth'. When we are healthy, our chances of growing in wealth increase manifold.
They are therefore offering a range of benefits to their policyholders for staying in the pink of health.
Insurers tend to offer benefits in terms of points that can be used for discounts or lower premiums. The criteria for giving these benefits could be walking a fixed number of steps or enrolling for gym or taking a health assessment regularly.
One could even get his entire insurance premium waived off simply by adhering to a healthy lifestyle, eg, by walking a certain number of steps a day during the policy year.
This can be achieved by tracking on a fitness device that can be linked to the policyholder's insurance platform.
Insurance plans with a focus on wellness incentivise policyholders to take preventive steps and to lead a healthy life.
Incentives of being healthy
During the policy year, wellness benefits are earned by the policyholders for keeping healthy. It is seen as a good move worth lauding to incentivise policyholders to stay fit and to also renew their health insurance policy.
“These discounts can also go as high as 100% of the premium. This implies that you can get the next year’s policy for free just by following a healthy lifestyle. This feature is a win-win for both the customers and the insurer - the customer stays fit and has a lower propensity to file a claim,” said Mr Siddharth Singhal, business head, health insurance, Policybazaar.com.
One industry expert has argued that insurance plans with a focus on wellness induces policyholders to take preventative measures and also to lead a healthy life.
“Our health insurance plans provide wellness benefits in the form of wellness points that can be redeemed as discounts on premium payments or other membership perks at any of our empanelled businesses,” says Mr Bhaskar Nerurkar Head – Health Administration Team, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.
Bajaj Allianz also introduced wellness options in the form of policy riders.
“Last year we launched Health Prime Rider that can be purchased with any of our flagship health insurance products offering wellness options. Then there is a Senior Care Rider called ‘Respect’ that offers wellness solutions for the policyholders in their golden years,” he added.
Are these benefits adequate?
Despite being offered a slew of benefits – monetary and otherwise – some experts are of the view that they are still not sufficient.
Mr Kapil Mehta, Co-founder of SecureNow Insurance Brokers, said the specific wellness benefits that are offered by insurance companies are not material enough.
“Typically, the wellness benefits are in the form of points...this is good because wellness is such an important priority. However, the specific wellness benefits that are offered are still not material enough, in my view,” says Mr Mehta.
Also, some sceptics have raised concerns about the possibility of misuse of data when fitness app data is linked to insurance firms.
On this, Mr Mehta said, “It is important for insurers to maintain their data confidentiality better. There are a new set of laws in the making that are likely to emphasise this.”
This is an abridged version of an article by Vimal Chander Joshi which appeared on MintGenie.