What are the wellness benefits that incentivize policyholders to stay in the pink of health?

There is an age-old adage that says — ‘Health is Wealth’. And this timeless wisdom continues to hold true in the modern times as well. When we are healthy, our chances of growing in wealth increase manifold.

So, it is recommended to maintain good health, not only for intangible benefits, but also for monetary gains. Even health insurance firms have realized this, and therefore offer 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 criterion for giving these benefits could be walking a fixed number of steps or enrolling for the 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 incentivize policyholders to take preventive steps and to lead a healthy life.

Incentives of being healthy

During the policy year, health benefits are earned by the policyholders for keeping healthy. It is seen as a good move worth lauding to incentivize policyholders to stay fit and to also renew their health insurance policy.

“These discounts can also go as high as 100 per cent 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 customer and the insurer – the customer stays fit and has a lower propensity to file a claim,” says Siddharth Singhal, business head, health insurance, Policybazaar.com.

One industry expert argues that insurance plans with a focus on wellness induce policyholders to take preventive 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 empaneled businesses,” says 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 not yet sufficient.

Kapil Mehta, Co-founder of SecureNow Insurance Brokers, says that 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 being offered are still not material enough, in my view,” said Mr Mehta.

Also, some skeptics raise 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 emphasize this.”

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First Published: Mar 20, 2023, 08:49 AM IST

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