“Apple Watches and Fitbits are increasingly part of everyday life,” Katherine Chiglinsky reports for Bloomberg Businessweek. “People track daily steps, log health information, even use the devices to compete against friends and family. Now life insurers want in on that.”
“John Hancock, a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., recently expanded an optional program to reward customers for healthy habits,” Chiglinsky reports. “Participants can earn points for tracking their daily jogs or for their meditation practice, and then use those points for rewards toward purchases on Amazon and other sites. Sometimes they can even save money on premiums.”
“What’s in it for insurers? For one thing, if policyholders live longer, insurers don’t have to pay out as soon, according to Chad Hersh, a vice president for insurance at consulting firm Capgemini,” Chiglinsky reports. “Even if wearing a wrist computer doesn’t by itself make anyone live longer, there may be a more subtle advantage for insurers. The customers who want to sign up for such a program might be a little more health-conscious — and less risky to cover.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote in September 2015:
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 glorious 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, you can 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 advice.)
Apple Watch with John Hancock Vitality
Life insurance with the John Hancock Vitality Program rewards you for the healthy activities you do every day. And now, you can earn Apple Watch Series 4 for an initial payment of just $25 plus tax when you become a John Hancock Vitality PLUS member. Simply exercise regularly to earn Vitality Points and see the cost of your Apple Watch go down. The more Vitality Points you earn, the less you’ll pay each month.
How the program works:
• Order your Apple Watch for an initial payment of $25.
• Walk, run, bike, swim or do any number of exercises you enjoy and earn Vitality Points that go toward your monthly watch payments.
• Earn 500 fitness-related Vitality Points per month over two years and you’ll pay no additional charges.
More info: https://www.johnhancockinsurance.com/vitality-program/apple-watch.html.
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
And the NSA and FB get in on all of that data too simply because they want and can.
Even better, send your insurance company all your private information. Those actuarial tables need to be made as accurate as possible, and they won’t be without actual (and very private and HIPPA protected) information from the person insured.
Oh, and don’t forget to use your Amazon card!! Certainly worth (1/10) the price of your privacy.
Just buy your own watch. Or sell your privacy for $429.
There are a few problems with your position of letting the sinners pay more for their health insurance. Start with the reality that those sinners policy rates will make insurance unaffordable. That takes us to step 2, no insurance and they still get treatment. The costs of that treatment will be shifted to higher bills for those insured – that is called Cost Shifting and YOU are the ones penalized with higher premiums. Your best bet is to add a buck or two for a pack of cigs and use that money for medical care. Same with diabetics. Add sugar taxes and use the tax funding to help treat patients.
Basically the people who buy problem products will help care for the problems they caused, That is the least expensive approach.
I called JH to find out about this program and learned that it’s more expensive than their regular insurance. The extra surcharge isn’t quite as much as the price of a new Apple Watch, but this program doesn’t save you as much as you’d think—even if you hit all the milestones.