Here is how health insurance companies are motivating their clients to be more active
Health insurance companies are taking it upon themselves to encourage their customers to become more active, as a way to improve their health. One American health insurance company, Aetna, is partnering with Apple to create a new wellness program and application that helps track the health of the company’s clients. The app will also offer recommendations and offer the options to collect and redeem points in exchange for gift cards or discounts to pay for a new Apple watch. The app encourages the customers of the insurance company to be active to receive an apple watch.
The program will be launched in spring 2021, and to become part of it, participants need to have an iPhone 5S or any newer version, or an Apple Watch Series 1 or newer. The app will create personalization for the user’s activity goals based on their weight, age and sex. Achieving these goals will allow them to collect points that can be redeemed for gifts or even one payment of an Apple Watch.
The recommendations given by the app will be based on the health records of individuals and their level of activity measured by the Apple Watch. The recommendations become more customized as the app collects more and more data about their customers helping them reach their goals and have a healthier life. The app will also remind users of the time to visit their doctor, get a prescription refill, and the date of their flu shots.
While Aetna is not the first insurance company to take the initiative of offering wearable devices to their customers, but they are the first to partner with Apple. The two companies partnered together in 2016 for the first time, for a similar project and noticed that 90% of their participants achieved at least one health benefit from using the Apple Watch offered. Being forced to pay for the apple watch by being actively increased the activity level of the insurance’s clients by 34%.
Other companies such as UnitedHealthcare, offer wellness programs that use fitness devices like FitBit to track the number of the steps of users and offer rewards as well. Recently, another company, John Hancock Insurance, also announced its wellness program, linked to an Apple Watch payment program, however, users will need to pay 25$ as an advanced payment. Both programs of Aetna and John Hancock are based on a rewards program developed by wellness and insurance company Vitality Group.
Health insurance companies are adopting these programs more and more as a way to improve the health of their customers, making them less prone to health risks, which become cheaper for the company as well. An Apple watch is appealing as wearable devices are growing in popularity and use.
West Virginia’s Public Employment Insurance Agency in 2018 decided to increase their customers’ insurance rates and deductibles if they do not meet some activity and health goals. However, Aetna claimed that the gathered info will only be used to improve the recommendations they give to the users.