Before you buy health insurance, you need to know what wellness benefits in health insurance means. As a policyholder, you can accrue and accumulate benefits if you stay fit and healthy during any given policy year. The benefits are offered based on different parameters that assess how active you have remained during the year. Some such parameters include having a gym membership, the number of steps you’ve walked, or the results of a health assessment.
If your health insurance provides wellness benefits, you can encash them in any of the ways permitted. This could be in the form of discounted renewal premiums, premium waivers, additional sum assured or even vouchers or discounted services.
To regulate insurers who provide wellness benefits in health insurance, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has the following guidelines in place.
Insurers need to summarise the wellness benefit points to their policyholders each year
Insurers should be clear about the medium of communication used to inform the policyholders about the wellness benefit reward points.
Insurers should be clear about the means of redeeming the wellness benefit points earned by policyholders.
Insurers will be held accountable for any discrepancy in the administration of the wellness reward programs.
Insurance providers cannot offer any payments via third-party services exceeding the monetized value of the reward points earned by policyholders.
Wellness benefits in health insurance can be beneficial in many ways. Here is a closer look at the top perks of these benefits in health insurance plans.
These wellness points are only offered based on parameters like steps walked or workouts done. In order to earn these benefits, you will have to take such healthy measures. This is how the wellness benefits in health insurance act as an incentive for you to stay healthy.
An indirect benefit of these wellness benefits is that they may help prevent or delay the occurrence of chronic illness, by encouraging you to stay fit and active. You need to meet the fitness targets to claim these benefits, and this, in turn, will keep you healthy.
This is a more direct perk of the wellness benefits in health insurance is the monetary or non-monetary rewards they give you. Whether you get to cash in the benefit as a reduction in premium or get a redeemable voucher, there is some kind of perk you can enjoy.
Wellness benefits in health insurance may be offered in different ways. The manner in which they are given varies from one policy to another. Here are some common types of wellness perks you typically get in a health cover.
Discounts on the health insurance premium payable at the time of renewal
An increase in the sum insured offered by the health insurance plan
Vouchers that you can redeem to get a membership in gyms or yoga centres
Vouchers redeemable for health boosters and supplements
Free diagnostic health check-ups at empaneled or network hospitals and diagnostic centres
Vouchers redeemable in exchange for pharmaceutical products at select outlets
Free or discounted consultation and/or outpatient treatment
The exact inclusions and exclusions will vary from one health insurance plan to the next. However, as per IRDAI guidelines, concessions to third-party merchandise or services are specifically excluded.
Now that you know what wellness benefits in health insurance are and how they work, you can choose to get a plan that offers these rewards. This way, you have an incentive to remain healthy and fit, and you are also rewarded for the same.
Most new-age health insurance plans offer wellness benefits, either as an add-on or as a part of the base plan itself.
Your insurance provider will give you clear instructions about how to redeem the wellness benefits you have earned during the policy year. In case of any doubts, you can get in touch with the insurance provider’s customer care team.
No, the wellness benefits in health insurance are only offered if you meet the criteria set by the insurance provider. In case you do not, you can always try during the next policy year.
No. The wellness benefits in health insurance can only be redeemed in the manner stated in the policy. So, make sure you read the terms and conditions before you purchase your policy.
Usually, you will have to download the insurer’s app and link your fitness tracker to the insurer’s platform. Since many leading insurers have now partnered with companies that make smart wearables, the data from your tracker will automatically be updated in the insurance providers platform, and you can accumulate wellness benefits as per your fitness activity.