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Health insurance wellness programs and benefits

Team AckoJun 10, 2022

You may be familiar with health insurance but do you know about health insurance wellness programs and their benefits? Read ahead to know more about these programs and how they can help you.

Health Insurance Wellness Programs and Benefits

What is a health insurance wellness program?

Health insurance wellness programs are activities designed to help you improve your health. Usually, insurers (for example, ACKO) reward consistent participation in these activities with attractive rewards. Wellness programs typically include yoga classes, gym membership, sports club membership, etc. In health insurance, wellness programs are sometimes also referred to as wellness benefits.

How does a health insurance wellness program work?

Health insurance wellness programs work on a participation and reward basis. So, if you take part in a wellness program, you may receive the applicable reward points for the same.

You can use these points to avail of discounts and other benefits.

Here’s an example highlighting the working of one of several ACKO Group Medical Cover’s wellness features.

Step 1: Sync your fitness tracking device with ACKO’s mobile application.

Step 2: Complete fitness challenges mentioned in the app and earn ACKO coins.

Step 3: Once you earn a certain amount of coins, you can exchange them for curated rewards.

Benefits of opting for Health Insurance Wellness Programs

Here are the benefits usually offered by insurers for participation in wellness programs. Please contact your insurer for a specific list.

  • Discounts on medical consultations, treatments and health check-ups.

  • Second opinion from a network hospital when diagnosed with a health condition.

  • Redeemable vouchers for membership in gymnasiums, yoga centres, sports clubs and fitness centres.

  • Discounts on the policy premium or increase in the sum assured during policy renewal.

  • If you earn more than one reward, you will get to decide which one to utilise according to your needs.

What’s covered in health insurance wellness programs?

Usually, health insurance programs involve the following activities.

  • Smoking cessation programs

  • Weight-loss programs

  • Exercise programs and fitness activities

  • Stress reduction programs

  • Vaccination drives

  • Yoga classes

IRDAI guidelines for health insurance wellness programs

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) regulates Indian insurance and has stated health insurance wellness program guidelines. Here’s an overview, for detailed guidelines, you can check the IRDAI website.

  • The intent of wellness programs should be only to improve the insured's health.

  • Insurers should reward customers who show consistent involvement in these wellness programs.

  • Insurers should provide the opportunity to enroll in these programs without any discrimination.

  • Medical insurance providers should address errors that come up while calculating reward points.

  • The information submitted by the insured should be kept confidential. And can be used only for the program purposes.

Why should one opt for a medical insurance wellness program?

In 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) put out a report. It said that the leading cause of death worldwide was Ischemic Heart Disease. The number of deaths per year caused by this disease increased from 2 million in the year 2000, to 8.9 million in 2019. Fortunately, heart diseases can be avoided by eating healthy and exercising regularly.

Wellness programs usually include fitness activities like exercise and nutritious diet plans. Participating in these can help you attain good health and avoid health complications. Also, participation can earn you attractive rewards. These can save you money on your health insurance premium or provide other benefits.

In closing

Health insurers sometimes offer wellness programs to improve the health of their customers. Being involved in these programs may reap profitable rewards. These rewards usually help to reduce the policy premium or provide other benefits. So, choosing a medical insurance plan that offers a wellness program or includes such features can be beneficial for you.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers on health insurance wellness programs.

What are wellness benefits in health insurance?

Wellness benefits in health insurance are activities that improve the health of customers. Involvement in these activities is usually rewarded with discounts or other benefits. That is why it is usually advantageous to enroll in these wellness benefits offered under health insurance.

Do health insurance plans come with wellness programs?

No, not all health insurance plans come with wellness programs. Thus, you should find out if this is available as an inclusion or an add-on before buying a health plan. You can either ask the insurer or read the policy wordings of the health insurance plan for more details.

What are the usual wellness programs offered by insurers?

The wellness programs usually offered include yoga classes, gym memberships and other fitness programs. Consult the insurer to know the exact wellness programs offered with a health plan. Alternatively, you can read through the policy wording of the health insurance policy.

What is the cost of availing of wellness programs?

Some wellness programs come along with health insurance plans and are not chargeable. It may be offered as an add-on for a little extra premium in other cases. Check with the insurer to determine the exact premium charged if bought as an add-on. Alternatively, you can check this using the health insurance premium calculator feature.

What do insurers gain by offering wellness programs?

When customers enroll in wellness programs, they are likely to become more healthy. This may make them less prone to illnesses. That in turn may reduce the probability of them raising health-related claims. 

Is the discount/sum insured for participating in wellness programs linked to the NCB?

No, the discount/sum insured for involvement in wellness programs is not linked with the NCB. They are both separate. So, you can avail of both benefits and neither will affect the other.

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