Why could health insurance wellness benefits be useful for you?
What is your number 1 priority in the year 2021? It may not be money, a job, or gold, but it would be ‘health’ for a vast majority of Indians. The COVID-19 pandemic rightly brought back the focus on the need to take care of one’s physical and mental health. A health insurance policy may help you cover the medical expenses after getting admitted into a hospital but ensuring you don’t have to visit a hospital is the big task. The wellness benefits offered with your health coverage could be the first step towards achieving that goal.
Vikram Kapoor was a football player in his college days. He is currently 32 years of age and works as a senior HR manager with a start-up. Due to the demanding nature of the job, he mostly feels irritated and exhausted. Though he wanted to go back to this old self and become active again, he couldn’t implement it as he didn’t feel motivated. His company held a workshop on health insurance plans where a detailed explanation of the latest plans offering wellness benefits was given.
Vikram did not have a health plan and bought it, hoping the wellness features would help him to push his boundaries. In the next 6 months, Vikram had accumulated a good number of points by completing the health tasks assigned by the insurer, which he could redeem for a discount in renewal premium for the following year. Also, he is now part of a yoga group that he joined through the complimentary membership offered by his insurer. As a result, Vikram feels more calm, satisfied and can balance professional and personal life with more ease. All this was due to the proper utilization of wellness programs offered by his insurance company.
Many people want to follow a regular fitness regime, eat healthy food and maintain a healthy lifestyle but not many can pursue it due to various reasons. What if you are rewarded for following a healthy lifestyle? This is what the IRDAI’s notification on wellness programs intends to do with health insurance in India.
Top 5 Benefits of Wellness Programs
- Discount in Premium
- Collect Reward Points
- Club Memberships
- Preventive Health Check-ups
- Achieve your Health Goals
The policyholder can use the wellness benefits offered through health insurance to take memberships in health clubs, get reward points, participate in fitness events, etc., at no extra cost while getting health insurance benefits simultaneously. These programs are a tool for the insurance companies to attract more young people into the insurance fold and avail health insurance at a young age.
1. Discount in Premium
As a policyholder, if you are regularly following the tasks assigned by the insurer, you are eligible for discounted premium rates for the next policy year. Some plans increase the sum assured of the policy as a goodwill gesture for following a healthy lifestyle. Either way, this is a huge advantage, as you are getting motivated to lead an active life and, at the same time, minimize the premium of your health insurance.
2. Collect Reward Points
You may have heard about reward points on credit cards for spending money, but with wellness programs in health insurance, you get reward points for walking, running, taking up yoga classes, etc. Unfortunately, few plans offer massive reward points for quitting smoking, registering for weight management classes, and taking part in marathons. You may not have thought of doing these things earlier, but the health insurance policy motivates you to achieve these milestones.
3. Club Memberships
The wellness benefits in health insurance extend to memberships with gyms, fitness centers, yoga studios, etc., on a complimentary basis or at discounted rates that help maintain a calm mind. Also, the reward points can be redeemed to buy health supplements or other health-related products, which is also a massive plus as these benefits are inaccessible for many until and unless someone guides them.
4. Preventive Health Check-ups
‘Prevention is better than cure’ is the famous quote that needs to be followed to keep health complications at bay. However, the insurers also prefer the same and hence offer their customers preventive health check-ups, outpatient consultations or treatments, diagnostic tests, etc., for free or at a reduced cost with network hospitals, so you are aware of the hospitals chosen by the insurance company to understand their health condition.
5. Achieve your Health Goals
It is a well-known fact that many Indians are acquiring emotional guidance, especially during these pandemic times. Leading an active and healthy life is the resolution for most of these issues. These health and wellness benefits offered by insurance companies act as the doorway for policyholders to enroll in any wellness program of their choice and get mentored on their health, diet, fitness, and nutrition needs.
With the availability of digital platforms, you don’t need to be physically present at specific locations at all times. A policyholder can make use of online classes in weight management, nutrition, fitness, yoga, etc., through a mobile app, video conferencing, etc., which is a boon as you are not paying anything extra for these wellness facilities and can still attend them from the comfort of your homes.
The progress of your activities is tracked through various mechanisms involving self-declaration, mobile trackers, apps, etc., that ensure your efforts are adequately documented, and rewards are appropriately accounted for.
Examples of wellness benefits
To help you understand how the wellness benefits work in health insurance, we are listing the wellness programs of few insurers that are currently in force:
1. ICICI Lombard: The wellness program from ICICI Lombard offers a’ reward point’ on completing specific health-related tasks mentioned by the insurer. For example, by enrolling yourself in gym/ yoga membership for 1 year, you get 2500 points. Similarly, participation in professional sporting events like marathon/ swimathon, etc., will fetch you 2500 points.
While each wellness point is equivalent to Rs 0.25, policyholders can redeem them for reimbursement of various medical expenses that are not covered in the health policy, such as Consultation charges, Medicine charges, Diagnostic expenses, Dental expenses, Wellness preventive care, etc.
2. Star Wellness Program: The benefits program run by Star health insurance also offers reward points, and a policyholder can claim a 10% reduction in premium on collecting reward points between 750 to 1000 in a policy year.
Therefore, if you are looking for India’s best health insurance policies, you must look if they also offer wellness benefits in their plans, as the advantages are immense.