Wellness Offerings to Drive Growth of Indian Health Insurance Sector: Max Bupa Pulse Report

Key findings:

  • Almost 15% health insurance owners use health apps to monitor physical activity daily
  • 37% respondents expect health insurance companies to offer guidance on diet & nutrition(organic and healthy options)
  • 47% respondents preferred online channels to renew health insurance while 14% preferred online channels for buying health insurance
  • 26% of existing policy holders and potential buyers opted for online purchase to take advantage of immediate issuance of the policy

On the occasion of World Health Day, Max Bupa, one of India’s leading standalone health insurance players, released a study/report – ‘Max Bupa Pulse’. The research conducted by IMRB is an extensive study to better understand the mindset, needs, expectations and behavioral patterns of Indian buyers towards health insurance. The study encompassed over 2100 respondents from across India. The objective of the qualitative study was to gain a deep understanding of the shifting trends in the health insurance segment and market developments that carry considerable implications for health insurance companies.


Focus on Wellness

The study analyses the evolving consumer behavior to help create a robust product, pricing, outreach and engagement roadmap to propel the growth of the health insurance industry. As per the report, the younger health insurance buyers expect their (health insurance) providers to go beyond their traditional offering of providing financial cover and play a more dynamic role as a healthcare partner and advisor taking care of all wellness related aspects. The Max Bupa Pulse Report corroborates the IRDAI’s recent direction of health insurance shifting the coverage paradigm from ‘Illness’ to ‘Wellness’.

Almost 75% of the survey respondents expressed their expectation of health insurance companies offering guidance on diet, preventive health check-ups, etc. 15% of the respondents, also health insurance buyers, stated that they used apps to monitor their health on a daily basis, further amplifying the focus on personal wellness. Further, the Max Bupa Pulse Report states that consumers are willing to purchase/renew health insurance and even pay additional premium if (health insurance) companies offer wellness features/programs such as guidance on nutrition, stress management, discount on pharmacy, fitness coach, etc.

In line with the changing consumer needs, Max Bupa recently launched a digitally enabled ‘Everyday Use’ Health Insurance Plan – ‘Max Bupa GoActive’ to keep Indians financially and physically fit. GoActive is a holistic health insurance plan that has been designed to give customers 360 degree coverage for their daily health needs including inpatient hospitalization and on-the-go access to OPD, diagnostics, personalized health coaching, 2nd medical opinion, behavioral counseling and much more. The plan offers benefits such as renewal discount of up to 20% on achieving health goals, and also introduced an AdvantAge feature which offers 10% discount on base premium at the time of buying and on all future renewals if the age of the eldest enrolled person is below 35 years. Max Bupa has brought together the industry’s premier health-tech providers including GOQii, Practo and 1mg, on a single platform to create a digitally enabled wellness ecosystem that will seamlessly offer all these services to its customers.

Need for Greater Digitization

In addition to the buyers’ focus on wellness, the Max Bupa Pulse Report findings also underpin the increasing importance of technology in driving growth for the sector. Digitization and technology will be key drivers for the sector and will act as enablers across all key touch points throughout the customer experience journey. The report reveals the incremental effect that digitization could have on increasing health insurance penetration in the country by overcoming challenges of awareness, understanding, accessibility and serviceability.

The survey revealed that mobile devices were most frequently used for search and purchase, with 71% respondents using them for search and 43% for purchase. In terms of a digital buying experience, 14% health respondents were receptive to buying through online channels. In terms of challenges or detractors, 68% of online buyers reported poor mobile experience and security concerns as factors for abandoning purchase of health insurance on mobiles.

As per the survey, a combined 68% of respondents were worried about the safety and security of online financial transactions and security of personal information. Despite such inhibitions, 26% of existing policy holders and potential buyers opted for online purchase to take advantage of immediate issuance of the policy.

Addressing the key challenges faced by the sector in India, Max Bupa recently launched Any Time Health machines – an innovative technology solution that allows first-time health insurance buyers take an instant health assessment, choose the right product and buy a health insurance policy instantly under 3 minutes.

“The Max Bupa Pulse Report outlines 2 clear trends for the growth of the health insurance sector –increasing focus on wellness solutions and the growing strategic importance of digitization.To stay competitive in the evolving environment, insurance companies must offer holistic packages geared towards enriching the lives of its customers rather than mere compensation for illness treatment or hospitalization. Our endeavor with the GoActive Health Insurance Plan is to bridge the health insurance gap and bring more and more Indians into the ambit of health insurance” says Ashish Mehrotra, MD and CEO, Max Bupa.

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