A health insurance policy is meant to cover your medical expenses in the event of a hospital admission. Thus, when you raise a claim, the insurance provider reimburses you for the medical expenses that you incurred during your treatment or settles your bills directly with the hospital. For every such claim that is raised, the health insurance provider will have to shell out a certain amount of money.
Given how expensive medical treatments have become, insurance providers have, of late, started to offer discounts and rewards to policy buyers who maintain a healthy lifestyle. Since individuals who are fit and healthy are less likely to get hospitalised and raise claims, this can, over time, help the insurance provider save on what they would have otherwise spent on settling claims. As a result, many insurance firms have started to offer discounts that can lower one’s premium and rewards that can provide certain additional health-related benefits to policyholders.
Several health insurance providers offer wellness benefits, health points and rewards, and discounts to policyholders for keeping themselves healthy. For instance, ICICI Lombard offers a wellness programme through which policyholders can earn rewards for their healthy behaviour by partaking in various wellness activities. Through this program, the insurance company aims to promote healthy behaviour among its customers. Policyholders can redeem the points that they earn on this program as per the terms and conditions of the program. Wellness points, under this program, can be earned by participating in sporting events, practicing yoga, partaking in fitness-related activities organised by ICICI Lombard, etc.
Similarly, leading health insurance provider, Apollo Munich also rewards policyholders for maintaining a healthy lifestyle by offering premium discounts of up to 8% based on the number of steps a policyholder takes in a day.
Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Limited has an ‘Active Dayz’ program, through which policyholders can earn health returns by keeping fit and active. To earn these rewards, policyholders are required to connect an app/wearable device that has been approved by Aditya Birla Health Insurance to the insurer’s health app. Post this, policyholders can start tracking their activity. To earn an Active Day, the policyholder has to complete a minimum of 10,000 steps in a day.
Some of the rewards offered by various health/general insurance companies to policyholders who maintain a healthy lifestyle are:
*Note: The list of rewards mentioned above is not exhaustive, and might not be applicable to all health insurance plans.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has also encouraged health insurance companies to offer benefits and rewards to policyholders who make staying healthy a priority. To this end, the IRDAI has allowed health insurance providers to offer discounts on outpatient consultations, pharmaceuticals, health check-ups, etc., provided this information is clearly mentioned in the policy brochure. Health insurance companies are not allowed to, however, offer discounts on third-party insurance products.
It has been observed that most individuals, especially those residing in metro cities, have responded well to such initiatives and programs offered by health insurance providers since these initiatives can help them maintain a healthy lifestyle and also receive benefits/discounts on their policies.
That being said, as a policy buyer, you should not solely purchase a health insurance policy on the basis of the value-added benefits offered by the insurer. Before purchasing a policy, you should compare the features and benefits of various policies and the premium rates that they are offered at, and only pick a policy if you are certain that it matches your needs.
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