“Apple has been in talks with at least three private Medicare plans about subsidizing the Apple Watch for people over 65 to use as a health tracker, according to people familiar with the discussions,” Christina Farr reports for CNBC. “The insurers are exploring ways to subsidize the cost of the device for those who can’t afford the $279 price tag, which is the starting cost of an older model. The latest version of the device, which includes the most extensive health features including fall detection and an electrocardiogram to measure the heart’s rhythm, retails for a minimum of $399.”

“Apple has paid a visit to several of the largest insurers in the market, as well as some smaller, venture-backed Medicare Advantage plans,” Farr reports. “About 19 million seniors, and growing, are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, which are private health plans that receive government payouts for providing services to seniors — about $10,000 per member, on average.”

Apple Watch Series 4 in a Space Black Stainless Steel Case with Space Black Milanese Loop (40mm and 44mm)

Apple Watch Series 4 in a
Space Black Stainless Steel Case with Space Black Milanese Loop (40mm and 44mm)

 
“The government payments provide more flexibility for insurers running Medicare Advantage plans to invest in new technologies, like the Apple Watch, if they have a demonstrated benefit,” Farr reports. “‘Avoiding one emergency room visit would more than pay for the device,’ said Bob Sheehy, CEO of Bright Health, an insurance start-up with a Medicare Advantage plan, and the former CEO of United Healthcare.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Subsidizing Apple Watches for members is a no-brainer for any competent health insurance provider.

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s next really big thing: Health – January 9, 2019
Study shows active Apple Watch users gain extra years of life – November 28, 2018
Apple’s watchOS 5.1.2 will enable electrocardiogram feature on Apple Watch Series 4 – November 28, 2018
John Hancock and Vitality prove Apple Watch incentives boost physical activity rates by more than 30 percent – November 28, 2018
Life insurance companies are luring Apple Watch users with deals – November 16, 2018
John Hancock offers Apple Watch Series 3 for only $25 to all Vitality life insurance customers – October 23, 2017
Apple and Aetna hold secret meetings to bring Apple Watch to the insurer’s 23 million members – August 14, 2017
In major win for Apple, Aetna becomes first insurance company to subsidize Apple Watch – September 27, 2016
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
Dalrymple reviews Apple Watch: ‘My most personal review ever’ – June 16, 2015