Insurers are using pedometers  and health monitoring apps to reward policy buyers and incentivise a preventive approach to health, shows a study by study by (iStockphoto)

Over 20% health policy buyers redeem ‘wellness points’ for discount on renewals


MUMBAI: As medical costs increase every year, it is important to have a health insurance policy and to stay fit.

According to a study by, over 20% of people who purchased health insurance plans in March and April of last year renewed their policies through wellness points this year.

Policyholders are now using their ‘wellness points’ during health policy renewal to get insurance premium discounts.

This tells us how policyholders are slowly and gradually shifting toward a preventive mindset that deviates from traditional health policy offerings.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the Indian wearables market has grown 144.3% year on year in 2020. The quarter from October to December 2020 was the most important in the country for the wearables category, with triple-digit growth, the study revealed.

According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’s (Irdai’s) guidelines on preventive and wellness features, insurers are asked to incentivise the insured who is eligible for the reward points and meets the wellness criteria. Insurers are rewarding policyholders with a variety of services known as wellness benefits, which are simply a value-addition to the health insurance coverage provided at no additional cost.

Insurance companies are utilising wearables and health apps that provide benefits such as blood sugar monitoring, BMI, pedometer, behavioural counselling, and video/teleconsultation with doctors, according to the study. Some insurers use external motivators such as rewards, monetary discounts, and digital badges to encourage customers to live healthier lifestyle. Insurers offer discounts on renewal premiums if the insured person exhibits healthy behaviours such as a number of steps per week, calorie count, and a healthy heart rate. Customers are also being enrolled in wellness programmes by insurance companies. These wellness reward programmes (WRP) are designed to encourage insured individuals to participate in certain activities to stay active and medically fit.

Amit Chhabra, head-Health Insurance, said, “Stress management, wellness points, preventive health check-ups, gym and yoga memberships and nutritional guidance are some of the elite features of new-age health insurance plans or wellness-oriented health covers.” He further said, “Some notable plan names and features include Max Bupa Health Insurance ReAssure’s – Live Health Benefit, which provides a discount of up to 30% on renewal premiums. Similarly, Aditya Birla’s Health Activ Assur Diamond and Activ Health Platinum plans offer renewal premium discounts of up to 100%. You can also purchase HDFC Ergo Health’s Optima Restore and Manipal Cigna’s ProHealth to save up to 8% and 20% on renewal premiums, respectively.”

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