Insurance companies are finally getting on the bandwagon with tech in the form of using wearable devices for health and fitness, as companies like John Hancock and Aetna have started offering steep discounts on devices like the Apple Watch, as long as customers use the gear to track their activity. Now insurance company UnitedHealthcare is looking to integrate both Samsung and Garmin fitness trackers into its own bring-your-own-device program that rewards members for meeting daily walking goals.
The UnitedHealthcare Motion, so the program is called, lets you use a Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro, Gear Sport or Garmin Vivosmart 3 to track your steps and earn up to $4 per day for a maximum of $1,000 per year in HRA or HSA credits if you reach the company’s specific fitness goals. These include completing 500 steps within seven minutes six times per day at least an hour apart, completing 3,000 steps within 30 minutes and racking up 10,000 total steps every day.
Additionally, the fitness trackers will be available at a discount or even free to plan participants via a dedicated page of the UnitedHealthcare website. Qualcomm is involved in keeping the data secure as it is shared with the insurer via the Motion app, as well as integrating devices that people already own.
This type of program benefits everyone, both the consumer and the insurance company. “Studies have shown walking can be an effective way to help improve well-being and reduce medical costs,” said Qualcomm’s Dr. James Mault in a statement, “and we are seeing how UnitedHealthcare Motion helps people take charge of their health.”