Using technology to get in shape and improve your health isn't a new concept, as people have been using wearable trackers like the Fitbit for years. Unique is the idea that some insurance companies want access to the information these fitness trackers are collecting. With your permission, they'll get it. So, what do you get in exchange for letting insurers know how many steps you took today? Is it worth it? Here's what you need to know about the prospect of handing over this information to your insurance company.
First, you should be clear about what insurance companies are interested in when it comes to your wearable trackers. For the most part, they want information about your health, specifically daily updates on it, including how many steps you take and heart rate.
Insurers also want to see your exercise log to learn if you exercise the recommended three times per week. If the fitness tracker's app has a food journal, insurers may want access to see how many calories you consume daily.
So why are insurance companies so interested in the data from your wearable tracker? The main benefit f is the ability to see how fit and healthy you are. This information can help them decide on what benefits to offer you when it comes to your health insurance or life insurance policy, as well as how much to charge for your premium.
If you seem to be in great shape and are even improving your health, your prices could go down, and you might also benefit in other ways, such as with gifts from your insurance company. Insurers save money when they insure healthy people, so they're happy to encourage and reward people for improving their health--and the data from wearable trackers can make that possible.
If you're not sure if you should let your insurer have access to your steps, heart rate, and other health information, consider how you could benefit. As long as you're in good shape, or at least planning to improve your health and fitness, you have a chance of being rewarded by your insurer for making progress. Not only will you likely see reduced rates, but you might also be eligible for additional rewards.
For example, John Hancock's life insurance customers have the option to sign up for the Vitality program in which they let the company see their Fitbit data. In exchange, they have the chance to get a 15 percent reduction on their premium. Plus, they can earn points for exercising and participating in fitness events, such as a race, and they can then redeem those points for gift cards to individual stores. With this program, the Fitbit wrist monitor is free, allowing any customer to join the program if they'd like.
That's just one example of rewards you can get for sharing your fitness data with an insurer. Another example is Oscar, a health insurance company that gives customers a Misfit Flash fitness band that can track physical activity. Customers can earn rewards, such as Amazon gift cards, when they reach particular goals that might include 10,000 steps in a day or moving every half hour. Then there's Optima Health, which gives customers a free Fitbit to wear so they can track and share their information related to nutrition, physical activity, and weight loss. In exchange for this data, they get cash rewards of up to $275 per year.
Several life and health insurance providers have some program which offers rewards in exchange for health data from wearable fitness trackers. If you're interested in improving your fitness while also reducing your insurance premiums or earning rewards, a program of this kind may be right for you. If you need help finding an insurance provider that offers rewards when you wear a fitness tracker, contact us for assistance today!