How Health Insurance Companies Are Encouraging Customers To Stay Fit

Prevention is better than cure. Surely most of us must have heard this proverb, right? This holds true especially in the case of health. The more disciplined you are in terms of your exercise and eating habits, the fitter you are.

That’s exactly what health insurers want you to do too. In the past few years, many health insurance companies have come up with unique health plans wherein they offer different forms of rewards to policyholders who stay fit.

So basically, you can save money by staying fit! But how does this exactly work?

How You Can Save Money By Staying Fit

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If you exercise regularly and eat a well-balanced diet to stay fit, your chances of falling ill especially to a serious disease tend to be on the lower side. Hence the chances, or in fact the need to claim your health insurance would be lower too. Thus a win-win situation for both, the policyholder as well as the insurance company.

And to encourage people to stay fit, insurance companies are gradually coming out with unique features in their health policies that are tied to policyholders’ fitness habits.

The more you stay fit, the more your rewards will be, such as higher discounts on premium, gym membership, health supplements, outpatient consultations or treatmentspharmaceuticals, health check-ups/diagnosis, etc.

Also, discounts on premiums and/or increases in sum insured at the time of renewals are based on the wellness regime followed by policyholders in the preceding policy period.

nowadays, some health insurers are even offering up to 100% discount on next year’s premium if you (the policyholder) meets the set criterion, such as 10,000 steps for say, 300 days every year. Remember that the rewards and criteria differ across insurers and also as per the risk profile of the customer.

Are These Benefits Allowed?

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Yes. About three years ago, in Sept 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) issued guidelines promoting wellness benefits in health insurance.

The guidelines on Wellness features issued by IRDAI on September 4, 2020, state, “As part of promoting wellness and preventive regimes, insurers may offer reward points to those policyholders who comply with or meet the set criteria of wellness and preventive features.”

The regulator further said, “Wellness and preventive features under a policy may also be offered either as optional or add-on cover.”

IRDAI allowed insurers to provide wellness and preventive features by offering discount coupons and vouchers for health supplements, outpatient consultations or treatments, pharmaceuticals, health check-ups/diagnosis, memberships etc.

Post these guidelines by IRDAI, the number of insurers offering a wide range of such benefits has been rising, especially for health insurance.

Moreover, given that the covid pandemic acted as a big wake up call for people who had not realized the importance of health insurancethe awareness around such policies and the importance of fitness, has been rising.

Also Read: Why Life Insurance Premiums Are Cheaper For Women

Guidelines By IRDAI

stay fit health insurance benefits
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the other important guidelines issued by IRDAI are as follows:

1. There shall be no discrimination in providing any of the wellness and preventive features offered and in granting the reward points thereunder to the same or similarly placed categories of policyholders of the underlying health insurance product.

2. The Insurer shall specify in the policy contract and prospectus, the mode of communication that the Insurer adopts for notification of various services offered under the wellness and preventive features.

3. Insurers shall specify the manner of redeeming the rewards accrued under the wellness and preventive features in the prospectus, policy sayings and shall disclose updated information in their website.

4. The insurer shall be responsible for any errors or omissions in the calculation of accrued rewards and shall address the same through their in-house Grievance Redressal Mechanism.

Also Read: Inclusion Of Mental Illness In Health Insurance Made Mandatory By IRDAI

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