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UnitedHealthcare Integrates Apple Watch Into Wellness Incentives

UnitedHealthcare integrated Apple Watch into employer health plan wellness incentives to help keep beneficiaries active and improve overall member health.

UnitedHealthcare integrates Apple Watch into wellness walking program

Source: Thinkstock

By Thomas Beaton

- UnitedHealthcare is integrating the Apple Watch into beneficiary wellness incentives, where members can earn the device and financial rewards by participating in a walking program aimed at improving overall member health.

The payer will announce more details at HIMSS18 about integrating Apple Watch devices into the UnitedHealthcare Motion program, where members covered by an employer-sponsored health plan can earn up to a $1000 per year for meeting daily walking goals.

Beneficiary earnings are deposited into health savings accounts or health reimbursement accounts to help cover out-of-pocket expenses.

The program’s “F.I.T” goals are based on frequency, intensity, and tenacity measures. Members earn up $4 a day if they complete goals such as:

  • completing 500 steps within seven minutes six times per day, at least one hour apart
  • completing 3,000 steps within 30 minutes
  • completing 10,000 total steps each day

Steve Nelson, CEO of UnitedHealth believes that the integration of Apple Watch devices can further aid wellness improvements already observed within the UnitedHealthcare Motion program.

“UnitedHealthcare Motion is part of our consumer-focused strategy that is driving toward a simple, integrated, mobile-centric ecosystem that delivers value to consumers,” Nelson said in a press release sent to journalists.

“Smart watches and activity trackers stand alongside transparency in physician selection and medical costs, easy virtual visits with health care professionals, and digital coaching and online wellness programs, all of which are designed to support consumers in enhancing their health and improving how they navigate the healthcare system.”

The Apple Watch devices help members track walking progress with the UnitedHealthcare Motion app and integrate health goals with Apple’s HealthKit features.

UnitedHealthcare beneficiaries are eligible for the program under employer-sponsored health plans and can pre-purchase an Apple Watch by only paying for tax and shipping.

UnitedHealthcare beneficiaries can earn the device in six months if they actively participate and complete walking objectives.

Currently, UnitedHealthcare Motion participants average between 8,000 and 10,000 steps daily. Sixty-five percent of participants sustain wellness engagement over 18 months and 68 percent of eligible members participate in UnitedHealthcare Motion.

Members have collectively walked 180 billion steps and earned $30 million in wellness incentives since UnitedHealthcare Motion’s launch. 

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