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Insurance company Prudential and Discovery has launched its health insurance scheme offering subsidised memberships to gym-goers.

Under the PruHealth programme, consumers will be able to lower their health insurance premiums by earning Vitality points, which can be gained through a number of measures including improving fitness, managing weight, going for screenings and stopping smoking.

As official partners of PruHealth, Cannons and Holmes Place offer subsidised memberships for policyholders, who can earn 1,040 Vitality points by visiting the gym twice a week. This equates to a 50 per cent reduction in their next year’s premium.

Consumers need only swipe a card at the gym to receive the Vitality points.

A spokesman for PruHealth admitted the system didn’t guarantee that members actually perform any exercise while in the gym, but didn’t think consumers would abuse the system. “It’s true people could go to the gym twice a week and not work out, but its unlikely they would do so just to get a reduction in their health insurance,” they said.

He said the company was also aware that not all policyholders have access to Cannons or Holmes Place clubs and said it is attempting to fill the geographical gaps as quickly as possible.

The Prudential model is based on similar schemes in South Africa and the US, which have prompted dramatic changes in people’s behaviour.

A scheme in Illinois saw 79 per cent of policyholders take up a fitness programme or change their eating habits within 12 months of becoming a policyholder. This compares to a 32 per cent average among all policyholders.

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Insurance company Prudential and Discovery has launched its health insurance scheme offering subsidised memberships to gym-goers.
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