Health insurance: Get wellness benefits for a healthy lifestyle

Health insurers are increasingly offering customer wellness programs such as sports club and gym membership, yoga classes and periodic health check-ups. The insurers reward policyholders who take part in these wellness programs in the preceding policy period with discounts on health insurance premiums or by increasing the sum assured at the time of renewals. However, these discounts are not linked with the No Claim Bonus offered by insurers.

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The wellness reward points can also be redeemed for certain medical tests at network hospitals and diagnostic centers and to avail discounts at various wellness centers such as gyms and yoga centers. Policyholders can avail value-added benefits such as outpatient consultations and health check-ups which will help them get diagnosed at an early stage, making preventive healthcare more prevalent. A few insurers also provide second medical opinions where the policyholder can consult doctors empaneled with the insurance company.

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Insurers track the insured through smart wearable health monitoring devices and wellness providers and InsureTech startups are collaborating to provide app-based health and wellness solutions. These health tracking apps generate data on users’ health and habits which will help the latter keep better track of their health.

What to check
In September 2020 the insurance regulator had mandated companies to include wellness and preventive benefits in health plans. It underlined that the intent of wellness programs should be to improve the insured’s health and insurers should provide the opportunity to the insured to enroll in these programs without any discrimination.

While there is no pricing impact of inclusion of such benefits in the policy, policyholders must read the terms and conditions on the wellness perks of the policy carefully, especially the types of medical tests included in the free health check-up benefits. They should note if the cover has the provision to enhance the scope of health check-up by paying an extra amount on policy renewal and if the wellness perks are part of the cover or an add-on before buying a plan.

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