Aetna to offer employees and members a subsidy on the Apple Watch

Aetna to offer employees and members a subsidy on the Apple Watch
If you're one of Aetna's 50,000 employees, you are going to get the opportunity to buy a subsidized Apple Watch thanks to a new partnership between the health insurer and the tech titan. Aetna will also subsidize the cost of the timepiece to large employers and individual members. Obviously, the goal here is to make its employees and health insurance customers healthier by using the smartwatch. The Apple Watch program will begin in 2017.

Aetna is working on software along with Apple that will work on the iPhone, iPad and the Apple Watch. The software is designed to reward healthy living for its own workforce and for Aetna's paying subscribers. There are four areas to the initiative that the health insurer is focusing on:

  • Care management and wellness, to help guide consumers through health events like a new diagnosis or prescription medication with user-driven support from nurses and people with similar conditions.
  • Medication adherence, to help consumers remember to take their medications, easily order refills and connect with their doctor if they need a different treatment through their Apple Watch or iPhone.
  • Integration with Apple Wallet, allowing consumers to check their deductible and pay a bill.
  • Personalized health plan on-boarding, information, messaging and decision support to help Aetna members understand and make the most of their benefits.

Aetna employees will receive $130 from the company to use toward the purchase of the Apple Watch. In addition, they will receive up to $200 every year to help pay for gym memberships and the purchase of a fitness tracker. That means an Aetna employee will be able to buy an Apple Watch Series 1 model, which starts at $269, without laying out any additional money. If the employee doesn't mind having some pay deductied on a monthly basis, he or she can buy the Series 2 version of the Apple Watch, which starts at $369.

We haven't heard yet how much of a subsidy Aetna will give its big business customers or individual members. As far as Aetna is concerned, the hope is that the money it spends keeps its employees and subscribers out of the hospital and doctors' offices. That would allow the company to save more money than it plans on spending for the program.

source: 9to5Mac

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