Can a fitness tracker help you save on health insurance?

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Can a fitness tracker help you save on health insurance?

Updated Aug. 29, 2019: Getting fit has many rewards, like helping you maintain an ideal weight, build muscle, and boost your energy and mood. If you haven’t gotten started just yet in the new year, technology might help motivate you.

Some of the best apps and wearable fitness trackers can log your exercise data, monitor your diet and total up the number of miles you run or calories you’ve burned.

Others can help you save on health insurance. Insurance providers and health-related companies are tapping into wearable technology to enable their customers to stay in shape, offering them wellness discounts and other benefits after they meet a required number of fitness goals.

Oscar App

Oscar, a health insurer, gives users of its app $1 toward an Amazon gift card for each day they hit a step goal. Users track their steps using the Oscar app.

The app syncs with Apple Health and Google Health. Users can earn up to $240 a year.

UnitedHealthcare/Fitbit Charge

The employer-sponsored wellness program under this insurer is called UnitedHealthcare Motion. Wearers of the Fitbit Charge can track their physical activity and mark their progress. Reaching fitness goals earns credits that can be applied toward out-of-pocket health expenses.

The Motion program started in 2017 and allows participating policyholders to earn up to $1,000 a year by meeting daily walking goals.

John Hancock/Fitbit

Starting in September 2018, all John Hancock life insurance policies included incentives for exercise as part of the Vitality behavior change program. Rewards include up to 15% in annual premium savings, a discounted Apple Watch and a free subscription to Headspace, a meditation app.

Policyholders earn up to 30 points a day if they walk at least 15,000 steps. Customers can also earn rewards for activities like annual health screenings.

Other honorable mentions

Several other insurance providers have taken advantage of utilizing fitness tracking technology and data sharing to improve the health of its members and empower them to exercise and embrace wellness.

  • Aetna launched an app, Attain, in 2019 in collaboration with Apple. The app tracks health goals and offers rewards, including an Apple Watch or gift cards, for meeting those goals.

  • Humana, has its own app for members, Go365, which allows users to connect their fitness trackers to set fitness and health goals. Meeting goals can earn points that can be redeemed in the app's store.

Sticking to fitness goals can pay off for your health and for your wallet. And it’s not just in insurance premiums. Exercising more boosts your immune system and keeps ailments at bay, necessitating fewer doctors visits and lower out-of-pocket costs to pay.

A fitness tracker or your favorite wellness app can help you reach these goals and more. Use them to try out new exercises or activities you haven’t tried before, like finding a local spin class, or a running group. Challenge yourself to new goals, like training for a triathlon, or climbing the tallest mountain. And if you’ve accomplished all these feats and more, just stay the course and experience the wealth of mind, body and budget to benefit from.

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Image: Hulton Deutsch