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Are You A Fitness Freak? Here's Good News For You

Updated On Oct 27, 2020

Suppose you have a friend circle of fitness freaks all in their mid-forties. But soon you realise that despite perfect health parameters, you pay greater health insurance premium compared to a 35-year old who is not serious about his health and soon may become obese. Felt the pain, no?  

But sooner until next month, the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) will make available a perfect solution for this, where the policyholders who are facing similar issues may be able to purchase an affordable group cover, but only if they are able to show their fitness levels.   

The good news is that the insurance regulator has approved 30 non-life insurance plans under Regulatory ‘Sandbox’ framework with which the policyholders can seek cover for themselves for features that not all standard health insurance plans offer coverage for during 6 months testing period. 

Regulatory sandbox can be defined as the environment that provides a testing platform for new business models, applications and processes, that “may not necessarily be covered fully by or are not fully compliant with existing regulations.” It allows testing the acceptability of products. 

Friend assurance 

There are several group health insurance plans in the market that cover employees of the firm, home loan borrowers, credit card holders etc. However, the regulations do not allow the policyholders to form a group in order to buy health insurance plans. Instead, the three insurers-Kotak Mahindra General Insurance, Religare Health, and Max Bupa have proposed insurance plans that are exempted from this rule. 

In this, a like-minded group who thinks itself as healthier than others can come together to seek cover. The Head-Products and Business of Religare Health Insurance explain, “The benefit could be a partial refund of premiums paid in case there are no claims. The hypothesis is that there will be no misrepresentation. They will also have a shared interest in ensuring that all members stay healthy.” 

Wellness programs monitored by the application 

As allowed by the insurance regulator, ICICI Lombard will soon offer Diabetes Mellitus wellness programme in order to enrol diabetics as per its eligibility criteria. The experts believe that this will improvise the management of diabetes and their condition will be monitored regularly. Also, there could be rewards for the policyholders if they are able to improve their health parameters. 

Similarly, Bajaj Allianz will introduce a health insurance product for those suffering from lifestyle diseases. The policyholders will get affordable insurance covers under this plan if they are able to follow the prescribed diet and exercise regimen. 

Outpatient expenses cover with reward points

Not many health insurance plans offer coverage for doctor’s consultation and pharmacy bills. Most products only reimburse hospitalisation expenses. But as the demand to cover such expenses is increasing, the insurers like Religare may change the scenario with a new pilot product. Where you will get a voucher every week if you are able to exercise for, say, thrice a week. This is sure to increase customer satisfaction and will give the incentive every week for exercises. 

Also Read

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Take Away

Once the above-mentioned health insurance plans roll out, the policyholders must grab the deals to fulfil their needs. But at the same time, they must not have high hopes with these pilot products as they might guarantee long-term commitment. If the companies find them unsuccessful, or if the regulator IRDAI finds them unsuitable, they will be ceased in future.  

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