Is your health insurance premium truly linked to your health? How can tests and checkups done over a span of a few days determine how healthy you are likely to be over the next year? For a long time, health insurance companies had no option but rely on this method to determine premiums.
With advancements in technology, it is now possible for insurance companies to receive details of your daily fitness regimen and other aspects of your lifestyle and determine your health insurance premium accordingly. In simple words, instead of paying a pre-determined amount as the premium, you can opt for a pay-as-you-go plan where being in good health automatically helps you qualify for lower premiums.
So, how exactly are insurers offering such rewards and how can you benefit from the same?
In theory, one can count and keep track of the number of steps walked in a day. Calculate calories lost per step, multiply it with the total number of steps, and you have the total calories burned. However, this was impossible in practice until technology stepped in.
UnderCigna TTK’s plan, you will download an app that will sync with wearable fitness devices. The device will track your activity levels and your health cover premium will be determined on the basis of your activity. Work out hard and your premiums will automatically come down.
In Netherlands, Aegon Life has been charging different premiums to different individuals based on streaming of live health data from wearable devices worn by their customers. Oscar Health Insurance rewards people who track their fitness with gift cards from Amazon.
With India embracing new technologies very quickly, insurers in India too may charge premiums based on information provided by Fitbit and other activity tracking devices.
What about activities like meditation, yoga, or your Zumba routine? You can’t measure your steps there, can you? For such activities, insurers are relying on self assessment of the policy holder through a daily activity log. 30 minutes of Zumba, 45 minutes of yoga, followed by a brisk walk measured by your pedometer would be a great way to start the day and boost your health insurance savings.
These activities will help you qualify for points, which can be redeemed for reduction in premium or for paying other medical expenses at the end of the year. So, working out regularly will help you pay for pharmacy bills, consultation, or other medical services. This can easily set off a positive vicious cycle where good health leads to savings which leads to further good health…. and so on.
Find the idea of a slow morning walk to be too boring? Well, try swimming to enjoy a break from the monotony along with a simultaneous jump in your health insurance points. High-intensity exercises will help you qualify for more points, which is a great option for youngsters who just want another reason to continue pumping weights.
Exercising regularly is always a good thing. It makes your body fitter and your mind happier. As if that was not enough, you now have an additional reason to jump on to the bandwagon. Once app-based tracking becomes the norm, insurers will quickly offer lower rates for those who exercise regularly while the rest have to pay more for their health cover.
Instead of reviewing your fitness regimen after the change is implemented, you would do well to take steps to qualify for lower rates and lots of freebies and goodies when you apply for the next health insurance renewal
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest"- Benjamin Franklin -
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