With costs of health insurance rising rapidly in the last few years, consumers are looking for the best solutions possible to lower the risk of health issues and make insurance more affordable. The interesting factor is that insurance providers are also open to helping customers stay healthy. By providing incentives and discounts on gadgets that promote wellness, insurers are promoting preventive measures.
A good example is the UnitedHealthcare, a program designed to encourage people to live healthier lives and earn monetary incentives while exercising and walking more. This program includes the use of fitness trackers that inspire higher activity levels that can lower the risk of preventable diseases.
Connect Any Fitness Tracker to the Online App
Participants can buy any device that suits their preferences and requirements. Whether you choose to buy the fitness tracker or a device provided by the insurance provider, you’ll receive activation credits. If you’ve opted to use a previously owned activity gadget, you’ll qualify for a reward. But, if you’re buying a new device, the coverage provider may offer you subsidies on known brands.
Like the folks at GoFind Inc. explain, once you’ve signed up with an insurance provider, you’ll receive an email welcoming you to the program.
Depending on the conditions for eligibility, you and your spouse can connect the wearable device with the online insurer’s online app and register. In addition to recording the number of steps you take each day; the fitness tracker will assess the number of steps within fixed intervals all through the day. In this way, you’ll know if you’ve reached the recommended activity targets of 10,000 steps. And, the intensity of the workouts.
You’ll Receive Incentives
Essentially, the insurance provider pays you for taking fitness seriously. You can enroll in the program by directly connecting with the insurer. Alternatively, you can sign up with the provider chosen by your employer. You also have the option of choosing a third-party health company that provides coverage to employees.
Some insurers like United Healthcare offer incentives worth $1,500 a year that you can use to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. Other agencies may provide motivators like, for example, gift-card rewards for online shopping on Amazon, store cards, and discounts on nutritious food at well-known grocery chains. You could also earn discounts on hotel stays and up to 15% rebate on life and universal life insurance policies.
Businesses Can Invest in Employee Initiatives
The company where you work may also provide incentives for staying fit and meeting daily goals. On the days when you achieve the desired targets, you’ll receive incentives that are credited into your HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangements) and HSA (Health Savings Accounts). The HSA is similar to an IRA and you can use it to save for medical expenses.
On the other hand, the HRA is sponsored by your employer and can be used to cover insurance premiums. Check out this feature on Tom’s Guide that outlines how employers can provide up to 30% of the total healthcare costs in the form of wellness motivation.
This figure can translate into almost $1,800 for health plans for their workers. Employers can also allow staff members to use their HSA funds to pay for the fitness trackers.
Businesses Can Create a Fitness Culture
In addition to providing fitness trackers and health programs, businesses can promote a company culture of wellness. Such initiatives can include discounted gym memberships, yoga and aerobics classes during work hours, or walking sessions organized during lunch hours.
Depending on their operative budget, large corporates can also have in-house fitness centers to encourage employees to maintain good health. If the company where you work does not already offer these facilities, you could discuss the possibility of starting them with the benefits management.
How Fitness Trackers Work for Economical Healthcare
Once you enter the program, the coverage provider may offer you lower insurance premiums or other rewards for taking a health risk evaluation. As part of the assessment, you’ll undergo tests and biometric scans that check for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and other medical conditions.
According to the results, you can get advice on how to exercise, eat right, take up plans to monitor your overall health, and prevent present and future illnesses. Getting insurance when you’re healthy is always a smarter move just as this article on The Balance advises. You could get more economical plans that have lower copay and higher deductibles.
Activity Tracking Programs Do Have Hurdles to Cross
While using devices to track activity levels could be the next great step in improving health and lowering insurance costs, the concept does face a few challenges that developers need to overcome. For one, like this study at Harvard Medical School reveals, users are more likely to stay with the program only as long as the incentives keep coming in.
Once the motivating rewards stop, activity levels also tend to drop. Accordingly, insurance companies may need more ideas for changing behavior patterns and encouraging people to get on their feet.
Experts also talk about the next step in the designs for fitness trackers. These devices could be more helpful, it they could give wearers information that can be translated into action. For instance, developing a gadget that counts steps and activity levels, assesses the data, and then, indicates the units of insulin a diabetic must take.
The most important hurdle in the program is the possibility of companies leaking or selling the personal information to third parties. Hacking is a real threat and wearing fitness trackers exposes users to the risk of losing vital medical information and having their exact locations tracked and disclosed to unsavory elements.
Insurance companies are recognizing fitness trackers as a practical advancement toward affordable coverage and healthcare costs. By giving users adequate incentives, it could be possible to motivate them toward exercising more and leading a life with better wellness.
The exciting thing is that simple wearable gadgets have the potential to integrate more functions and change the face of medical care. All that remains now is eliminating the possible downsides and we could soon see a whole new generation of people totally committed to taking care of their bodies and leading happier, healthier lives.
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