Seniors who are enrolled in Medicare plans may soon be wearing Apple Watches according to one healthcare insurance carrier called Devoted Health. The company has confirmed that it will begin to offer Apple Watches to its senior citizens who have signed up on its private Medicare plans.
Devoted Health will do this by paying $150 a year in a ‘wellness bucks’ program to anyone of its members who are in a fitness program or are using a wearable device like the Apple Watch. The thinking behind this is that the use of an Apple Watch would give seniors the ability to monitor their own health and cut down on expensive visits to their doctor.
Apple has been in talks with multiple insurers for a while offering subsidized Apple Watches to senior citizens enrolled in their Medicare supplement healthcare plans. Companies like Aetna and John Hancock for example are offering programs to its senior members to encourage healthy habits.
The Apple Watch is a premium healthcare wearable device which usually is beyond the affordability of seniors at a price starting at $399 so the insurance companies are eager to include it as part of their Medicare supplement plans to help cutdown the payout costs on healthcare services.
As far as Devoted Health’s offer to its senior Medicare members, it could give a big boost to Apple Watch sales. Currently, the baby-boomers are the largest senior population in the US and this group of seniors are keen on adopting cutting-edge technology in order to assist them in the monitoring of their health. In order to achieve this goal they may opt for a subsidized smartwatch.
This is also a change that has been made by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to the updated Medicare Advantage plans guidelines which will definitely benefit Apple with its flexibility in offering this benefit.
One of the features of the Apple Watch 4 and 5 series that will benefit seniors is the fall-detection feature that will make a call to emergency contacts. Another feature especially for the Apple Watch 5 series is the electrical heart rate sensor. This will enable the Apple Watch 5 to take an EKG for monitoring heart health. Even though Apple Watches cannot diagnose a disease, the wearable device is marketed as an intelligent health guardian.
Apple markets its wearable device as an ‘intelligent health guardian’ even though it cannot diagnose a disease.