Apple and Aetna secretly meet to work out Apple Watch subsidies for millions of Aetna customers

Apple and Aetna secretly meet to work out Apple Watch subsidies for millions of Aetna customers
Apple and insurance company Aetna have been secretly getting together to discuss how the two companies might be able to deliver discounted Apple Watch units to 23 million customers belonging to the health insurer. While Aetna currently offers 50,000 employees a discount on the Apple Watch, the plan is to extend this to the company's customers who would use the fitness and health tracking features of the timepiece in order to get into better shape.

The meetings between Apple and Aetna took place last Thursday and Friday in Southern California. In addition to the executives from both companies that attended, chief medical information officers from various hospitals also showed up at the meeting.

Aetna is betting that by getting the Apple Watch onto the wrists of its customers, it helps them become healthier by promoting exercise and diet. This would lead to fewer sick days, illnesses, doctor visits, medication and surgeries that Aetna would have to pay for. 

One area where Apple has been very active is in the field of diabetes. While diabetics spend huge amounts of money to monitor their blood sugar several times a day, Apple has been working on a way for the Apple Watch to provide continuous blood sugar readings. This alone could save Aetna a large enough amount of cash to make it worthwhile for the insurer to subsidize the Apple Watch for its customers.

Selling millions of Apple Watch units to Aetna customers could be a real shot in the arm for Apple. For the second quarter of 2017, Apple shipped 2.8 million Apple Watch timepieces, up from the 1.8 million units it shipped during Q1. Apple currently has a 13% market share, good enough for third place in the global wearables marketplace after Xiaomi (17.1%) and Fitbit (15.7%).

source: CNBC

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9 Comments

1. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Good move by an insurer. Hopefully others will also make theirs available.

4. domfonusr

Posts: 1057; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

I hope they would make multiple choices available for this program, but I fear that they will make it an exclusive agreement, which will further enforce the "Apple" bias in our culture. Apple is the only one I've heard of that is peddling the idea of continuous blood glucose monitoring built into their smartwatch, and if they patent the only good method for it, that will make for a real vertical market in this sector of the health industry.

8. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1162; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Actually Google has acquired a startup that makes apps that use the various smartphone sensors to monitor health. The big problem with initiatives like this is that a lot of people insured there will get an Apple Watch cheap only to never use it for its intended purpose (fitness and health monitoring) or to sell it on. Its destined for failure.

5. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Apple did the others follow.....as usual.

9. tedkord

Posts: 17094; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You don't even believe that.

10. HansP

Posts: 542; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

Fixed it for you: Apple copies, internet trolls pretends the opposite.

2. Medoogalaxy

Posts: 232; Member since: May 25, 2017

Apple watch design s**t

3. Medoogalaxy

Posts: 232; Member since: May 25, 2017

Gear s3 masterpiece

7. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1511; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Shame I never see these in use, I've seen maybe 2 or 3 Apple watches in the last year, haven't seen many smart watches in general. Meanwhile I see Fit Bit devices on a regular basis still.

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