Australian airline Qantas and health fund nib have joined forces to offer an incentive for fitness-conscious private health insurance customers.
People who take out Qantas Assure health insurance can download a mobile app, which tracks their fitness and activity levels, rewarding an energetic and healthy lifestyle with Qantas frequent-flyer points.
The collaboration is designed to incentivise fitness, particularly walking. With Qantas saying around one-quarter of Australians wear their own fitness trackers, there appears to be a growing number of people who could benefit from such a scheme. Meanwhile, a healthy lifestyle could lead to fewer private health insurance claims, while rewarding those who meet their goals with points.
How members earn points
There are three ways to earn frequent-flyer points through Qantas Assure:
- There is a one-off, 50,000-point signing up reward
- For tracking exercise through a compatible device (up to a maximum of 15,000 per year)
- By paying insurance premiums (5,000 max. a year)
Business Insider says that the points up for grabs in the first year (70,000) are enough to pay for a flight from Sydney to London, while 15,000 could pay for a Melbourne to Sydney trip.
Giving members what they want?
Qantas Loyalty CEO Lesley Grant underpinned the reasons behind the nib-backed health insurance option.
"The idea behind Qantas Assure came from our members telling us they want to be rewarded for leading a more active lifestyle. They also want to feel more engaged in the health insurance experience rather than just paying their monthly premium or making a claim," she explained.
"When members combine the Qantas points they can earn from literally walking around the block with all the other ways to earn, it becomes a very powerful proposition."
Less than one in five Australians achieve the recommended quota of 10,000 steps a day.
Inspiring a change in health insurance incentives?
Could this be a new trend in private health insurance – rewarding an active and healthy lifestyle? The National Heart Foundation says it is happy to endorse the Qantas idea, which could inspire further fitness-focused rewards from health funds.
"We support Qantas Assure's innovative approach to rewarding people for being more active. Research has shown that walking for 30 minutes or more a day can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by a third," explained the Foundation's CEO, Professor Garry Jennings.
Meanwhile, exercise is no doubt important for everyone. Less than one in five Australians achieve the recommended quota of 10,000 steps a day, the National Heart Foundation added. Increasing daily activity from 1,000 to 3,000 steps per day could reduce mortality rates by 12 per cent.
Qantas Assure says it aims to take a 2 to 3 per cent share of the Australian private health insurance market over the next five years.
To go through all your health insurance options, talk to HICA on 1300 44 22 01. We are not affiliated with any health fund, and can offer free health insurance assistance to singles, couples and families.