Participants in the insurer’s Motion wearables wellness program can use their program rewards to purchase up to a $300 version of the Apple Watch 3.
UnitedHealthcare, the country’s largest commercial insurer, has added the Apple Watch to their wearable device wellness program that encourages people to walk more by using financial incentives tied to step counts.
Under the new partnership, enrollees in the company’s Motion program can earn up to $4 a day if they meet certain fitness standards which include walking at least 10,000 total steps a day, walking 3,000 steps within 30 minutes daily and completing 500 steps in seven minutes an hour apart, six times a day.
Participants can either use their own device or purchase an Apple Watch up to a $300 version of the Apple Watch 3 using the “walk it off” option, which allows users to use their rewards to purchase the device if they meet six months of walking goals, while only paying taxes and shipping costs.
The program, which is directed mainly at large and mid-sized employers with high deductible health plans, caps rewards at $540 for six months.
Apple is trying to broaden the potential customer base past young and wealthy early tech adopters into the broader population through innovative purchasing and payment schemes and new features like the Apple Watch 4’s ability to perform an EKG and detect falls.
According to UnitedHealthcare, program participants have collectively walked more than 235 billion steps and earned $38 million in rewards. On average, enrollees walk 12,000 steps a day, compared to the 5,200 daily steps of the average American.
Interestingly, the company has found traction with chronic disease and diabetes patients, who are 20 and 40 percent more likely to participate in the Motion program, respectively.
Enterprise wellness programs are a growing business line for wearables companies looking to diversify past direct-to-consumer device sales. A recent example is Fitbit’s expanded partnership with Humana, which includes using the devices in the insurer’s wellness programs, but also additional health coaching applications.
The value proposition has become increasingly high for both employers and insurers looking to defray some of the rising healthcare costs generally and the top line cost drivers associated with chronic disease patients.
Besides its new integration with Apple, UnitedHealthcare’s Motion program also works with devices made by companies including Samsung, Fitbit and Qualcomm.
“UnitedHealthcare’s success using wearables, incentives and digital platforms has helped people enhance their well-being, providing support and motivation to stay engaged in their health,” Rebecca Madsen, the company’s chief consumer officer said in a statement.
“More employers and consumers are adopting wearables and digital platforms as key resources to support them on their journey toward better health.”
Date: December 3, 2018