What is Wellness Insurance?

A. Garrett

Wellness insurance is an alternative form of health insurance. While most insurance policies only cover medical expenses that occur after the onset of a disease or condition, wellness insurance focuses on preventive care. Holders of wellness policies are covered for a wide array of health related products and programs including supplements, vitamins, weight loss, nutrition, and quitting smoking.

Wellness insurance could include yearly medical screenings.
Wellness insurance could include yearly medical screenings.

The concept of health maintenance insurance is based on the idea that, by proactively helping customers lead a healthy lifestyle through the subsidizing of things like fitness activities, diet plans and addiction therapy, the volume of health insurance claims will decrease. This results in lower insurance premiums. Insurance claims for medical conditions like heart disease, lung cancer, and obesity cost insurers lots of money. In the long term, paying for health maintenance is cheaper because the odds of an insured client developing a serious ailment will decrease.

In response to the rising cost of health care, many insurance plans require patients to pay a co-payment for every doctor’s visit in part to deter clients from causing insurers to pay for unnecessary appointments or procedures. A co-payment is a certain amount of money the insured person pays at each visit. The costs of these co-payments discourage some clients from seeing their physician for physicals that may detect underlying health risks. Wellness insurance encourages the policyholder to be proactive about his or her health by underwriting tests and examinations that may identify potential problems before they develop. By promoting early detection of diseases and maladies, providers of wellness coverage will theoretically save money because they will not be paying for operations or long-term treatments.

Wellness insurance can be applied in several ways. Annual doctor visits that provide vaccinations or screen for issues like high blood pressure or heart disease are examples of preventive measures covered by health maintenance insurance. Exams for chronic diseases like breast cancer and prostate cancer are also covered by wellness insurance. Blood tests subsidized by wellness providers identify issues related to glucose and can diagnose diabetes. Finally, children participating in a wellness program can have potential developmental issues diagnosed and treated before they become a major health concern.

People interested in wellness insurance should first contact their current insurance provider to inquire into whether such programs are offered by the insurer. Current insurance plans may also include aspects of preventive care. Certain countries also have laws requiring that health maintenance features such as exams and screening tests be included in insurance policies.

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