Seniors-focused health insurance startup Devoted Health is offering members valuable cash off the price of an Apple Watch. Devoted claims to be the first Medicare Advantage plan to do so.
The firm will help users buy the devices buy the device by contributing up to $150. Apple is also reportedly in talks with “a number” of other health insurers to carry Apple Watch.
Devoted Health’s main differentiator is its focus on “world class technology.” It is hoping to benefit from the large number of medical tech breakthroughs in recent years. Health-tracking wearables are a big mover in this space.
Devoted focuses on the growing seniors market. It is one of several companies providing healthcare for more than 20 million Americans over 65. According to PwC, this market will generate more than $350 billion in annual revenue next year.
Apple Watch’s focus on health
“For Apple, working with Medicare Advantage plans offers a big potential boost to device sales because seniors are increasingly adopting smartphone technologies and therefore might be interested in a smartwatch.”
Apple has introduced a number of seniors-friendly Apple Watch features. These include things like fall detection. Heart health monitoring, while not exclusively useful for older users, is also extremely valuable.
Apple has reportedly been in negotiations with Devoted for Apple Watch for several months. Devoted’s marketing materials state it will cover $150 per year toward “classes, programs, and wearable devices like an Apple Watch.”
Other Medicare plans will follow
Spokesperson Kenneth Baer from Devoted said that: “We are thrilled to be the first Medicare Advantage plan to collaborate with Apple, and give our members the chance to use their Devoted Health Wellness bucks towards purchasing an Apple Watch. Using innovative technologies to improve the quality of care is core to our mission.”
Other Medicare Advantage plans CNBC spoke to also said they were considering Apple Watch. For example, a spokesperson for tech-backed insurer Clover Health said that company “remains open to [Apple Watch], and are keeping a close eye on it and will reevaluate as more data comes in.”
Tim Cook has previously said that Apple’s contribution to healthcare may turn out to be its lasting legacy as a company.