Some Japanese insurers are offering insurance policies on which discounts on premiums or refunds will be given to those who adopt a healthy lifestyle, such as walking 8,000 steps a day or eating healthy food.
These types of insurance policies may cut Japan’s medical and nursing care costs, which have been growing due to the ageing population.
Earlier this month, Tokyo-based Neo First Life Insurance launched a new medical policy that pays lump-sum allowances when the insured is admitted to a hospital for such lifestyle-related diseases as cancer and heart disease. What is unique about the product is that its premiums are determined in line with the insured’s “health age,” which is calculated by the company based on medical checkup results — instead of one’s actual age, reported The Japan Times.
To calculate the health age of a prospective client, Neo First Life will use data on 1.6 million people stockpiled by the Japan Medical Data Centre, a private company that specialises in medical data analysis.
People confirmed to be healthier than average for their age are offered discounts on their premiums, said Neo First Life Insurance, a member of the Dai-ichi Life Holdings group.
Another insurance product offered by Tokio Marine & Nichido Life Insurance will give policyholders refunds depending on the number of steps they walk each day. The policies went on sale in Tokyo in August. Subscribers need to wear a monitoring device linked to the company via a smartphone app to measure their daily step count. They are entitled to refunds of up to 10% if they average over 8,000 steps a day for two years. The product, developed jointly with major wireless internet provider NTT Docomo, is set to be launched in other parts of Japan next month.
Separately, a policy developed by Sompo Holdings and Aiaru Syogakutankihoken Corp is designed to support the rehabilitation efforts of patients who require assistance with nursing care. The product was launched in September for residents at welfare facilities run by the Sompo Holdings group.
To qualify, one must be recognised as needing daily assistance under the government’s nursing care insurance system. If their condition improves over a certain period, they will receive an allowance.