Aetna, one of the U.S.A.’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 46.3 million people, today announced a new initiative to revolutionize members’ consumer health experience by combining the power of iOS apps and the unmatched user experience of Apple products including Apple Watch, iPhone and iPad with Aetna’s analytics-based wellness and care management programs. Beginning this fall, Aetna will make Apple Watch available to select large employers and individual customers during open enrollment season, and Aetna will be the first major health care company to subsidize a significant portion of the Apple Watch cost, offering monthly payroll deductions to make covering the remaining cost easier.

In addition to the customer program, Aetna will provide Apple Watch at no cost to its own nearly 50,000 employees, who will participate in the company’s wellness reimbursement program, to encourage them to live more productive, healthy lives.

With support from Apple, Aetna is planning several iOS-exclusive health initiatives, starting with deeply integrated health apps for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch that will significantly improve the ability of consumers to manage their health and increase healthy outcomes. The initial solutions under development are among the first health apps designed for multi-device use.

Apple Watch Series 2 with built-in GPS and water resistance to 50 meters

Apple Watch Series 2 with built-in GPS and water resistance to 50 meters

“We are incredibly excited to use iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch to create simple, intuitive and personalized technology solutions that will transform the health and wellness experience for our members,” said Mark Bertolini, Aetna Chairman and CEO, in a statement. “This is only the beginning – we look forward to using these tools to improve health outcomes and help more people achieve more healthy days.”

“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, in a statement. “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’s iOS-exclusive health apps will aim to simplify the healthcare process through a number of features, including:

• 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’s solutions will be available in early 2017.

Source: Aetna

MacDailyNews Take:

As we wrote last September:

Those who want to sit around, munching chips, while encasing themselves in growing rolls of fat should pay more for the costs brought on by their heart attacks, gout, diabetes, strokes, asthma, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and cancer treatments.

Next we need a way for Apple Watch to detect smokers and charge them more, too. People who make the effort to be healthy, regardless of whether they actually are lucky enough to be healthy or not*, should pay less for their health insurance as they tax the system far less than those who are sedentary, obese and/or smoke. Just as life insurance costs more for those who live unhealthy lifestyles, their health insurance should cost more, too. (Life insurers should utilize Apple Watches in much the same way.)

*If a person is obese for reasons beyond a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle, who is actively trying to be healthy as shown by their Apple Watch, but other conditions prevent fat loss (Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, hormonal imbalances, Syndrome X, medications, etc.) they should get a lower rate than those who are simply leading sedentary, unhealthy lifestyles. Most cases of obesity are due to sedentary lifestyles and consuming more calories than required, not medical conditions.

Furthermore, people should have every right to sit around eating chips and smoking until they drop dead (unfortunately, it’s rarely that clean; they often first tax the health system to a great degree by developing diabetes, cancers, banging off a couple of heart attacks, having a stroke here and there, etc. before they finally make their exit) and insurance companies should have every right to charge them more since, overall, they cost far more to take care of due to their poor choice(s) which raises costs for those who are trying to take care of themselves and therefore cost the system far less.

If you’re fat because you sit around too much and take in more calories than you can possible burn off by sitting on your ass all day, don’t be offended. Either keep on as you’re doing and pay more to cover your increased costs or put down the chips, stand up and get moving! (You can thank us later by continuing to visit during the 10-20 extra years you’ll get by following our latter advice.)

New ‘SweatCoin’ iPhone app pays people to get fit – May 5, 2016
Why you’ll wear an Apple Watch to keep your job – March 14, 2016
Share your fitness data for an Apple Watch – or cash – March 2, 2016
Tim Cook hints Apple might build a health device – November 10, 2015
Apple should double down on Apple Watch’s health sensors, battery life, and waterproofing – October 2, 2015
Health insurer will charge more for lazy people, less for active people, based on Apple Watch sensors – September 18, 2015