Aetna to Provide Apple Watch to 50,000 Employees, Subsidize Cost for Customers

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Insurance company Aetna today announced a major health initiative centered on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, which will see Aetna subsidizing the cost of the Apple Watch for both large employers and individual customers.

Starting this fall during open enrollment season, Aetna will subsidize "a signficant portion" of the Apple Watch cost and will offer monthly payroll deductions to cover the remaining cost.


Aetna also plans to provide Apple Watches at no cost to all of its nearly 50,000 employees as part of a wellness reimbursement program to encourage them to live healthier lives.
"We are thrilled that Aetna will be helping their members and employees take greater control of their health using Apple Watch," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "Aetna's new initiatives will be a powerful force toward creating better customer experiences in health care, and we look forward to working with Aetna to make them successful."
Aetna plans to develop several iOS health initiatives with "support" from Apple, debuting "deeply integrated" health apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch that will be available to all Aetna customers.

According to Aetna, these apps will "simplify the healthcare process" with features like care management to guide customers through a new diagnosis or a medication, medication reminders and tools for easy refills, quick contact with doctors, integration with Apple Wallet for paying bills and checking deductibles, and tools to help Aetna members get the most out of their insurance benefits.

Aetna's health-related apps will be available starting in early 2017, but the Apple Watch initiative will begin in 2016. Aetna has not detailed how much of the cost will be subsidized or which Apple Watch models will be available to subscribers.

Article Link: Aetna to Provide Apple Watch to 50,000 Employees, Subsidize Cost for Customers
 

baller1308

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2009
1,036
166
Wonder if I can get a discount as I am already a customer and have an Apple Watch. But if the discount is decent, I wouldn't mind a discounted upgrade :)
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,369
Awesome! 25% discount on AW, 50% increase in my premium. ;)

Aetna just pulled out of the majority of state health insurance marketplaces because they were not profitable there. I guess they are trying hard in 2017 to make the other jurisdictions they still operate in unprofitable too. Seriously, I understand encouraging fitness, but the basic Fitbit does that at a fraction of the cost if that is Aetna's goal. Aetna doesn't need to provide customers with the non-health related features of AW.

Also what happens when people buy b/c of the subsidy, but then get board because they were not really motivated to exerise in the first place. $ down rat hole that will be charged to Aetna's customers later on down the road. There is no free lunch here, and this does nothing to lower the real cost of health care.
 

rodgersmc

macrumors member
Sep 13, 2016
34
62
Awesome! 25% discount on AW, 50% increase in my premium. ;)

Aetna just pulled out of the majority of state health insurance marketplaces because they were not profitable there. I guess they are trying hard in 2017 to make the other jurisdictions they still operate in unprofitable too. Seriously, I understand encouraging fitness, but the basic Fitbit does that at a fraction of the cost if that is Aetna's goal. Aetna doesn't need to provide customers with the non-health related features of AW.

Also what happens when people buy b/c of the subsidy, but then get board because they were not really motivated to exerise in the first place. $ down rat hole that will be charged to Aetna's customers later on down the road. There is no free lunch here, and this does nothing to lower the real cost of health care.
If you think of the Apple watch primarily as a fitness tracker, you're right. I don't have one, so take this with a grain of salt, but I'm guessing the idea here is to encourage interoperability of health records, which stands to provide a much bigger boost in healthcare than something like a fitbit. (Edit to add: I admit I'm unclear how Apple watch does this any better than an iPhone.)

Unfortunately my employer switched from Aetna to United this cycle, so no discount for me :(
 

ChrisCW11

macrumors 65816
Jul 21, 2011
1,037
1,417
Yeah, because what you want is a insurance corporation that tracks your health and adjusts your premiums directly on your stats.

Sure, 25% up front discount, but when they find out your health isn't great then boom, suddenly you are paying 50%, 100%, 500% more the originally? The the problem is they decide what good or bad health is, you can be fit but have a minor heart murmur your watch will pick up, suddenly you are paying 250% more the next time your insurance is renewed even if your own doctor says its nothing to worry about.

And you might think, "well I will just leave Aetna and go to another insurance company", only thing is they are all in cahoots so once they know you are at risk with poor health your records are shared with all insurance companies and suddenly you can't afford health insurance anymore anywhere.

And guess what, your employer will have access to your health records and at-risk employees might suddenly be laid off for whatever reason because a company doesn't want people that might drop dead or be a burden of long term disability leave in the future.

It amazes me how much people will jump at a marketing promotion to get something free or get a perceived savings on cost without thinking one damn minute about the ulterior motives. NO corporation wants to earn less money from you, there is ALWAYS an ulterior profit mongering scheme with anything any corporation does.

Aetna can spin this all they want, the reality is that they will use this information to increase profit off of at-risk customers OR simply cancel at-risk customers that prove to have health stats that might indicate future liability to the company when a customer might actually need to use their insurance for health reasons.

In the end, this is yet another greedy organization that is looking to make more profit by violating your privacy and it is surprising that Apple would allow this considering how vocal Apple has been to not collect consumer data for profiteering. But right now Apple just wants to sell more Apple Watches and could care less about your privacy by allowing apps such as this to tie directly into another corporation's profit scheme. Dangle a shiney bauble in front of you, suddenly people want to share their private information with a corporation.
 

sciencesque

macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2016
2
26
First smart thing I've ever heard Aetna do. When I was a customer, all they did was send me literally dozens of Aetna ID cards, many of which had incorrect info on them. I never asked for them, they just kept sending them. And they provide garbage coverage