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Japanese insurers display innovativeness with health policies

  • Publish Date: Posted over 6 years ago
  • Author:by Alan Jarque

Some Japanese insurers are offering insurance policies which will provide discounts on premiums or refunds to those who embrace a healthy lifestyle, for example walking 8,000 steps a day or eating healthy food.

With Japan’s growing ageing population, these types of insurance policies may help to reduce the medical and nursing care costs.

A member of the Dai-ichi Life Holdings group, Neo First Life Insurance, recently launched a new medical policy that pays lump-sum allowances when the insured is admitted to a hospital for such lifestyle-related diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

This product is unique as its premiums are determined in line with the insured’s “health age” which is calculated by the company, based on the results from a medical check-up, not the actual age of the insured, reported The Japan Times.

In order 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.

Those who are confirmed to be healthier than average for their age are then offered discounts on their premiums, said Neo First Life Insurance.

Another insurance product offered by Tokio Marine & Nichido Life Insurance will provide policyholders up to 10 percent refunds if they average over 8,000 steps a day for two years. The policies went on sale in Tokyo in August. Subscribers need to wear a monitoring device which is linked to the company via a smartphone app to measure their daily step count.

The product, developed jointly with major wireless internet provider NTT Docomo, is expected 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.