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Health insurance policy packages may soon offer vouchers for gym membership, protein supplements


New Delhi: Health insurance holders may soon get vouchers for yoga centre, gymnasium memberships and even for buying protein supplements, with regulator Irdai proposing new guidelines to promote wellness among people.

In its 'Exposure Draft on Guidelines on Wellness and Preventive Features/Benefits', the watchdog said policyholders can be offered health-specific services by network providers or other empanelled hospitals for outpatient consultations or treatments, pharmaceuticals, health check-ups and diagnostics.

"Based on fitness and wellness criteria stipulated and disclosed, insurers may endeavour promoting wellness amongst health insurance policyholders," it said.

According to Irdai, this can be done by offering outpatient consultations or treatments, health check-ups and diagnostics, redeemable vouchers to obtain protein supplements, and discount vouchers for membership in yoga centres or gymnasiums for participating in fitness activities.

The guidelines would specify the rewards that can be offered as wellness benefits in the health insurance products and the manner in which those benefits can be utilised would be mentioned in the policy contract, as per the draft.

In this regard, there would be changes to wellness features and benefits under the Insurance Act 1938.

As per the draft, policyholders can be provided with redeemable vouchers to obtain protein supplements and other consumable health boosters and supplements, and for membership in yoga centres or gymnasiums for participating in fitness activities as part of their health insurance policy.

Also, discounts can be offered on premiums and/or increase in sum insured at the time of renewals based on wellness regime followed by policyholders in the preceding policy period, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) said.

The draft said the costs towards the wellness services should be factored into for the pricing of the underlying health insurance product and the cost factored should be disclosed in all insurance advertisements wherever wellness features are disclosed and promoted.

"No wellness feature/benefit shall be offered without it being filed or incorporated as part of the product in terms of the Product Filing Guidelines," it added.

Further, the regulator said there should not be any discrimination in providing any of the wellness features/ benefits offered to the same or similarly placed categories of policyholders of the underlying health insurance product.

"Every insurer shall assess the pricing impact of wellness and preventive features offered, if any, and the same shall be disclosed upfront in the File and Use or Use and File application, as may be the case, prescribed in the Product Filing Guidelines or applicable File and Use norms," Irdai said.

Comments on the draft guidelines have been sought till November 18.

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