How iPhone apps could impact your insurance

“The life insurance industry may have a new tool to help determine rates for customers: the iPhone,” James O’Toole reports for CNNMoney. “As part of Apple’s new mobile operating system, developers can build apps that measure things like heart rate, sleep, weight and blood pressure. If users choose to do so, they can then send that information to doctors for medical advice.”

“Health insurers, which are barred by Obamacare from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, can’t base their decisions on this kind of information,” O’Toole reports. “But the situation is different for life insurers, who use medical records to make decisions about the relative risks of prospective customers.”

“Life insurers take all kinds of information into account as they make policy decisions: age, medical history, occupation, and whether you’re a smoker, just to name a few. Whether and how health app data might figure into these decisions remains an open question,” O’Toole reports. “But it’s not hard to imagine how data like weight and blood pressure could figure into these calculations.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. Think about it. What if the insurer demands the info or won’t insure you? Four years ago, my health insurance required my doctor to certify that I wasn’t a smoker and wasn’t obese, or I had to switch to a high-cost plan. It’s not that it’s the iPhone, but that the data can be had… Or that you can be had…

    2. It’s already happening in the auto insurance industry. The Progressive ads for the Snapshot is an example. You plug the device into your cars OBD port, it records your driving habits and, based on the analysis of the collected data, Progressive adjusts your rate. It’s voluntary now, but who knows what the future holds. I’m guessing they could easily decline to insure a driver who refused the data collection request or exceeded what Progressive considered acceptable parameters.

      Big Brother can arrive in all sorts of disguises.

    1. Off to which competitor? Another that does the same thing, or one that doesn’t, but just charges more? Without the info, they’re taking a bigger risk, so the cost will be higher. Eventually the healthy will accept monitoring for lower prices while those with issues will pay more.

      Insurance used to be about all paying in a little to cover the costs of the few that need to claim. Now it’s about making sure each individual pays their way.

      The insurance companies ultimate goal is actually self defeating. If they had their way, they’d know exactly what every individuals risk was and would price the plan accordingly. You, in return, know your insurance will cost a little more than your health bill, so what’s the point. Basically if they accept you, you needn’t bother. If they don’t, you’re screwed. Either way the insurance companies ultimate goal is to clever themselves out of business.

      1. So this year they choose to make you use an iPhone (AT YOUR EXPENSE)
        and next year Microsuck comes out with their POS “health” program and pays insurance companies billions to use their crap.

        now your insurance company tells you to BUY a Microsuck phone and use it… or premiums go up. Maybe the next time it’s android…

        Sorry, but that won’t fly with me.
        My insurance company can’t do stuff like that.. which is good. (Government contracted Ins. I have the same plan Congress gets.. AKA NO Obamacare ;P )

        There will be companies that may give you a discount for using such stuff.. but they won’t require it.
        There are many insurance companies out there, some are good, others are bad. most people only hear of the bad companies. (or bad instances)

    1. I’m as big an Apple fan boy as anyone and I thought of it as soon as they started talking about the health apps and real time monitoring. The health insurance companies are not allowed to refuse coverage due to pre-existing conditions, but they aren’t required to price coverage in any particular way. And you’ll have a hard time getting them to pay claims for self inflicted wounds.

  1. I can see a world were the insurance companies off a discount if you do physical exercise and allow this to be tracked by and app on your phone. I can also see an industry were instead of hiring a dog walker to take your do for a walk, you would hire an iPhone walker to take your iPhone for a run.

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