Health In­sur­ance .......................................

Healthy ac­tiv­i­ties and life­styles to get a health in­sur­ance boost:

Banking Frontiers - - Contents -

IR­DAI has pre­pared a draft pro­posal that will al­low in­sur­ers to give pre­mium dis­counts in health in­sur­ance for those fol­low­ing a fit life­style. In­sur­ers may en­deavor to pro­mote well­ness amongst health in­sur­ance pol­i­cy­hold­ers by of­fer­ing health­spe­cific ser­vices of­fered by network providers or other hos­pi­tals. The guide­lines spec­ify that the re­wards that can be of­fered as well­ness ben­e­fits in the health in­sur­ance schemes and the way those ben­e­fits can be uti­lized would be men­tioned in the pol­icy con­tract.

LIFE­STYLE COV­ERS

IR­DAI has also pro­posed re­deemable vouchers to ob­tain con­sum­able health boost­ers, and mem­ber­ship in yoga cen­ters or gym­na­si­ums for par­tic­i­pat­ing in fitness ac­tiv­i­ties. The draft also in­cludes dis­counts on pre­mi­ums and in­crease in sums in­sured at the time of re­newals based on the well­ness plan fol­lowed by hold­ers. The in­crease in sum in­sured should be in­de­pen­dent and not linked to cu­mu­la­tive bonus of­fered.

In­sur­ers have ac­knowl­edged the sig­nif­i­cance of well­ness of­fer­ings i n en­hanc­ing cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and apart from of­fer­ing spe­cial­ized prod­ucts fo­cused on a life­style ail­ment, age-seg­ment, etc. Many in­sur­ers have in­tro­duced pro­grams that fo­cus on in­cen­tiviz­ing a cus­tomer to main­tain a healthy life­style.

Anuj Gu­lati, MD & CEO, Reli­gare Health In­sur­ance, says Reli­gare of­fers its cus­tomers var­i­ous well­ness and pre­ven­tive health pack­ages such as dis­counts at phar­ma­cies, doc­tor con­sul­ta­tions and di­ag­nos­tics. “Keep­ing in mind the grow­ing in­ci­dence of life­style dis­eases in the coun­try, we have in­tro­duced spe­cific plans that are rel­e­vant to in­di­vid­u­als al­ready ail­ing from di­a­betes and hy­per­ten­sion. Some of th­ese plans of­fer com­pre­hen­sive cov­er­age for OPD ex­penses, apart from cov­er­ing in-pa­tient hos­pi­tal­iza­tion. We are cur­rently work­ing on prod­ucts that of­fer fit­ness­based in­cen­tives to cus­tomers,” says he.

Bishesh­wari Singh, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer at Universal Sompo Gen­eral In­sur­ance re­veals the de­tails about the spe­cial health i nsurance poli­cies in­tro­duced by the com­pany: “We have Com­plete Health­care In­sur­ance Pol­icy, which has an in­built fea­ture of pre­mium dis­count to healthy cus­tomers and per­sons cov­ered un­der group health pol­icy. As per IR­DAI pro­posal, in our up­com­ing su­per top-up pol­icy known as `Su­per Health­care In­sur­ance’ we have al­ready i ncluded pre­mium dis­counts fea­tures to the in­sured on re­newal of pol­icy by main­tain­ing a fit and healthy life­style.”

Universal Sompo will be mak­ing tie-ups with renowned yoga and fitness cen­ters for re­deem­ing re­wards earned by the in­sured un­der the pol­icy. Since the well­ness cov­ers shall be part of pol­icy fea­tures, it shall be avail­able for all the com­pany’s busi­ness chan­nels like banca, agency, bro­kers and online chan­nel. Though th­ese ben­e­fits could im­pact pre­mi­ums, it will help health in­sur­ance com­pa­nies to re­duce the claims ra­tio, which would en­cour­age them to pro­vide well­ness fea­tures at af­ford­able prices.

FRAUDS, WEAR­ABLE DE­VICES

Tech­nol­ogy has started dom­i­nat­ing its ex­is­tence in health in­sur­ance. In­sur­ers are in­tro­duc­ing tech­nol­ogy at var­i­ous lev­els right from the pol­icy pro­cure­ment to claim set­tle­ment. Prod­ucts are de­signed to mo­ti­vate pol­icy hold­ers to use wear­able gad­gets, track fitness of cus­tomer as well as helps to re­duce their health in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums.

“The life­style / well­ness dis­counts un­der our up­com­ing su­per health­care pol­icy, are gen­er­ally based on data col­lected on real time ba­sis com­ing from wear­able gad­gets/smart phones. Hence chances of ma­nip­u­lat­ing th­ese data by an in­di­vid­ual cus­tomer is very rare,” says Bishesh­wari Singh.

Health in­sur­ance plans come with ap­pro­pri­ate risk mit­i­ga­tion and fraud pre­ven­tion mea­sures, some of which in­clude wait pe­ri­ods for pre-ex­ist­ing ail­ments and cer­tain spe­cific treat­ments that could be sub­ject to fraud/mis­use. Anuj Gu­lati says in­tro­duc­tion of in­no­va­tive well­ness ben­e­fits will also call for the need of some equally in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy driven mea­sures that help in data mon­i­tor­ing. More­over, a layer of au­then­ti­ca­tion will be re­quired at point of uti­liza­tion of OPD ben­e­fits, wher­ever of­fered on a cash­less ba­sis, says he.

He men­tions about the ben­e­fits of wear­able de­vices: “Data cap­tured by wear­able de­vices have been used to in­cen­tivize health in­sur­ance cus­tomers and since this is a re­cent phe­nom­e­non, the cur­rent uti­liza­tion lev­els are low. We be­lieve this will be sig­nif­i­cant in time with a large seg­ment of con­sumers avail­ing th­ese ben­e­fits.”

Wear­ables help in­sur­ers get ac­cu­rate data about the life­style of cus­tomers. This will help them in sug­gest­ing the right health in­sur­ance prod­ucts for the cus­tomers.

PRIC­ING & COL­LAB­O­RA­TION

Anuj Gu­lati speaks about com­pet­ing and col­lab­o­rat­ing with Google af­ter its ac­qui­si­tion of Fit­bit: “We rather fore­see this move to be ben­e­fi­cial for in­sur­ers and cus­tomers both, as an in­crease in cus­tomers us­ing such de­vices will make the in­sur­ance ben­e­fits linked with such de­vices more rel­e­vant as a larger set of cus­tomers will ben­e­fit from them.”

Bishesh­wari Singh says Universal Sompo has con­sid­ered well­ness and pre­ven­tive fea­tures while pric­ing its Su­per Top-Up pol­icy. How­ever, for in­tro­duc­ing the well­ness fea­tures in the on­go­ing pol­icy, the pric­ing shall depend upon the ex­ist­ing of­fer­ings, based on the plans and sum in­sured un­der health prod­ucts. He adds: “Google is a leader in in­no­va­tion and has been pioneer all long in tech­nol­ogy mar­kets, hence col­lab­o­rat­ing with Google should be con­sid­ered as land­mark”, he added.

Anuj Gu­lati

Bishesh­wari Singh

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