Post COVID-19, the demand for health insurance in India has increased by more than 22 per cent. Pre-COVID-19, the percentage of buyers for comprehensive health insurance plans was approximately 32 per cent; this has shot up to 55 per cent. However, it is equally important to know what insurance covers and its features.
One of the features of a good health insurance plan is wellness programmes. The primary benefit of buying a health policy with wellness programmes is that it provides financial protection against a medical emergency and also ensures the best healthcare facilities.
Understanding Wellness Programmes Under Health Insurance
The health insurance market in India has grown exponentially after the COVID-19 outbreak. To remain competitive and to gain market share, health insurance companies in India have started offering innovative products with bundled features and benefits. Wellness programmes under health insurance policies is one such innovation.
When you buy a health insurance policy with wellness programmes, you can receive a range of benefits at no additional cost.
Some of the benefits offered under health insurance wellness programme :
1. Reward points
Many health insurance wellness programmes give policyholders reward points when they undertake physical activities such as exercising, running, jogging, cycling, etc., and also by following a proper nutritious diet.
They can use these reward points to get discounts on their health insurance renewal premium. These points can also be used for concessions on outpatient consultations, diagnostic charges, pharmacy bills, etc.
Some insurers also allow the policyholders to use the accumulated reward points under wellness programmes for participating in various fitness activities such as yoga, marathon, and fitness workouts.
2. A wellness coach
Some insurers provide wellness coaches to policyholders under health insurance wellness programmes. These coaches provide guidance on healthy diet, exercise routine, nutrition, importance of mental health, managing the correct body weight, and many more.
These coaches are trained and certified health professionals associated with the insurers. By achieving the target set by their wellness mentors, policyholders can earn reward points and many other benefits, including various health related services.
3. Free medical opinion
Some health insurance companies allow the policyholders to take a second medical opinion or specialist guidance regarding specified diseases or surgeries. However, to avail this benefit, the policyholder is required to inform the insurer that he/she is seeking a second medical opinion from a specialist.
The normal procedure is to fill up a claim form and submit the copies of all medical records and investigation reports (if any). Often, the second opinion may even be arranged via the insurer’s mobile application.
However, it needs to be noted that the insurer cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or omissions resulting due to the second medical opinion obtained by the policyholder under his/her health insurance policy’s wellness programmes .
Why Should You Buy Health Insurance Policy With A Wellness Programmes?
Opting for a health insurance policy with wellness programmes provides multiple benefits. You will not only be able to save money but will also be motivated and incentivised to adopt a healthy lifestyle which will improve your overall well-being.
In India, 25 per cent of total deaths occur due to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular problems, etc. Most of these illnesses can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle.
There are numerous other benefits of opting for a health insurance policy with wellness programmes, such as
1. It helps in improving the overall physical as well as mental health of the policyholder.
2. You can use reward points earned under wellness programmes to avail multiple financial benefits. You can get discounts on your health insurance renewal premium and save a substantial amount of money. Furthermore, you can redeem these reward points for discounts on various memberships.
In today’s world, a sedentary lifestyle is threatening. Regular exercising, healthy diet, and sound mental health are the best way forward. A health insurance policy with wellness programmes helps us to achieve this.
In September 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), issued guidelines for preventive and wellness features provided under health insurance policies. The IRDAI’s mandate mentioned that the objective of these features is to improve the overall health of the policyholders. Insurance companies were asked to incentivise the policyholders who follow a healthy lifestyle and meet certain wellness targets.
However, the type of wellness programmes and benefits offered under a health insurance policy depends upon the insurance provider. Therefore, before buying any policy, you must carefully read all information related to the health benefits and wellness programmes to prevent any misconceptions in the future.
The author is the Chief - Claims, Underwriting and Reinsurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited.
DISCLAIMER: Views expressed are the author's own, and Outlook Money does not necessarily subscribe to them. Outlook Money shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.