Personal Finance

Exercise your way to a lower insurance premium

Bavadharini KS BL Research Bureau | Updated on December 09, 2019 Published on December 09, 2019

It’s just what your doctor prescribed — stay fit, reduce premium on your health policy

Recognising the role of physical activity in staying healthy, insurance companies, with the help of mobile apps, now offer discounts on premium if policyholders exercise regularly during the term of the policy. So, if you are looking to reduce your premium outgo, all you have to do is to stay fit.

Here’s how it works.

Making it count

Health insurance companies provide reward points if a policyholder exercises to stay fit, during the policy term. You can use these points to get discounts on the premium at the time of your health policy renewal.

To earn reward points, you have to do one of these: enrol yourself in a gym, go for a yoga programme or participate in a professional sporting event such as a marathon or a cyclothon. Walking a certain number of steps a day can also fetch you reward points.

For instance, ICICI Lombard’s Complete Health Insurance policy offers a maximum of 2,500 wellness points for a gym/yoga membership for one year. Each point is equivalent to 25 paise. You can redeem these points at the time of renewal and get a discount on the premium. The wellness points can be carried forward for a maximum period of three years from the date of earning the points. Note that the points will be carried forward only if the policyholder renews his/her policy continuously. ICICI Lombard’s policy also offers 100 wellness points if you quit smoking.

 

 

 

The accumulated reward points will get you discounts not only on the premium but also on medical bills. Aditya Birla Health Insurance’s Activ Assure policy, for instance, offers such benefits. In this case, you earn HealthReturns (points) by accumulating ‘Active Dayz’ — you earn an ‘Active Dayz’ by completing 10,000 steps or burning 300 calories in a day. If you have 7-9 Active dayz (as HealthReturns), you get a roughly 12 per cent discount on premium.

You can also use HealthReturns for health-related expenses, including in-patient medical bills and daycare treatment (when the sum assured is exhausted). This can be used towards OPD expenses too.

There is a 30 per cent ceiling on the premium discount for Active Dayz of 13 or more.

Similarly, in Max Bupa’s GoActive plan, you can earn up to 1 lakh points a year by meeting various targets. The maximum renewal premium discount offered is 20 per cent.

Other means

The gym or marathon are not your only means of getting a renewal premium discount. There are other means, too, such as undergoing a health check-up or taking up specific tests such as heart-related screening tests.

Under Max Bupa Health Insurance’s GoActive plan, policyholders get 500 points for quarterly health assessments. They can also earn up to 1,200 points if they consult, via telephone, Max Bupa’s empanelled practitioners. Your daily food habits too can earn you points, if you update the same in the app. You can earn up to 250 points.

Similarly, ICICI Lombard’s plan lets you earn 100 points if you share your fitness success story with the insurer. Also, if your medical parameters are within the normal limits, you earn up to 1,000 wellness points.

You can also get discounts of 5-15 per cent if you purchase/renew your policy online, or purchase a policy for a longer tenure (beyond one year). Apollo Munich offers a 10 per cent discount on premium if two or more family members are covered under its Optima Restore policy. The company offers an additional discount of 7.5 per cent on the premium if the insured pays two years’ premium in advance as a single premium. Similarly, HDFC Ergo General Insurer’s ‘my:health Suraksha’ plan offer a nearly 12 per cent discount on premium if the policy is purchased for three years.

Remember that the reward system varies from insurer to insurer. Also, not all health policies may offer wellness benefits.

How to start

Most of the reward programmes are offered through mobile apps. To get premium discounts and other benefits, policyholders have to download the respective apps. For instance, you have to download Max Bupa’s Health Coach mobile app if you purchase its GoActive plan.

Similarly, if you purchase any of Aditya Birla Health Insurance’s Activ Health plans, you need to have the Activ Health app, which can track your activities such as walking and swimming. You can set goals in the app, book appointments for consultation and check the availability of doctors or network hospitals.

Some of the insurance companies offer activation points for new users/beginners. For instance, Max Bupa offers 500 points for sign-up and activation. The app gives another 500 points if you set your own goals and another 750 points for your first health assessment.

There are no additional costs for enrolment in these apps. On a cautionary note, do check for the policy coverage, which is more important than reward points.

Published on December 09, 2019
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