Over the years, India has experienced a rise in health consciousness. There has been a steady change, particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic. More people have realized the value of maintaining a holistic approach to health and the safety of health insurance coverage. There has been a discernible increase in knowledge of wellness and health insurance in India over the last couple of years.
The existence of wellness programs and the benefits that go along with them are unknown to a sizable section of the population, including those who have health insurance policies. This article tries to clarify these advantages for mental wellness and provide information on whether they should be taken into account when choosing a health insurance plan.
Health Insurance Wellness Program
In the past, wellness programs, often referred to as wellness benefits, were exclusively available within high-tier health insurance plans. However, in recent times, a shift has occurred, and now a majority of plans have wellness benefits in health insurance. These initiatives are designed to facilitate mental health wellness and the prevention of chronic and terminal illnesses. They encompass offerings such as sports club access, yoga classes, and redeemable vouchers.
In addition, network hospitals may offer free health screenings and access to second views as preventative healthcare benefits. Beyond these benefits, the renewal of a plan includes the notion of “wellness points,” which effectively recognize and reward policyholders for maintaining their physical wellness.
Health Insurance Wellness Programs generally encompass:
- Programs to quit smoking
- Weight-loss initiatives
- Fitness-related activities
- Vaccination campaigns
- Mental health care services
IRDAI has some regulations which requires insurers to do the following:
- Provide an annual rewards summary to policyholders.
- Specify the mode of communication for rewards in the policy document.
- Indicate the process for policyholders to redeem their rewards.
- Take responsibility for any administration errors in rewards and maintain an internal grievance redressal system for issue resolution.
- Permit policyholders to select their preferred service provider from among multiple options if the insurer has several tie-ups.
Wellness Programs Benefits
The Wellness Programs offer several benefits, including:
- Membership subscriptions or redeemable vouchers for fitness centers, yoga classes, and sports clubs.
- Access to discounted or complimentary medical consultations and second opinions at network hospitals.
- Flexibility to use earned rewards as needed, especially if multiple rewards have been accumulated.
Functioning Of Health Insurance Wellness Programs
As per the IRDAI guidelines, wellness benefits can manifest as membership subscriptions or redeemable vouchers for health-related items. Insurers also have the option to reward policyholders through renewal benefits. Clarity is crucial, with the insurance company needing to effectively communicate to policyholders about aspects like carry-forward, points accumulation, and the redemption process.
Certain insurers may even provide a fitness tracking device after engaging in a wellness program, which can be synchronized with the insurer’s mobile app. This device allows you to earn points based on your physical activities, which can then be traded for curated rewards or benefits. While this dynamic heightens awareness about health and wellness, it’s important to note that it might contribute to the overall cost of insurance.
With financial incentives for maintaining health as a strong motivator, health insurance wellness benefits provide customized solutions for each individual’s health insurance needs. These advantages turn standard insurance into tailored ones, boosting health-related benefits. However, since benefits might differ between insurers, it’s critical to weigh your alternatives and choose a plan that meets your specific needs.
- What are wellness benefits in health insurance?
Promoting physical wellness through activities, rewards, and preventive benefits.
- Do all health insurance plans offer wellness benefits?
Most plans now include wellness initiatives for health improvement and prevention.
- How do mental wellness programs benefit policyholders?
Discounts on activities, medical consultations, and rewards for maintaining health.
- Can I earn rewards through mental health wellness programs?
Yes, insurers allocate reward points redeemable for various health-related perks.
- Are wellness benefits the same across insurers?
Benefits vary, so compare options to find a plan that aligns with your health and wellness needs.