Health Insurance and Technology
The next generations of health tracking devices like the Fitbit or Jawbone Up are gearing up to play a larger role in healthcare and insurance coverage.
According to Forbes.com, “Today, just one in 10 American adults own a fitness tracker, but these devices should become more widespread over the next decade alongside an explosion of sensors that can monitor everything from steps to breathing to heart rate, and apps that can sense the onset of chronic illnesses or stress.” In the meantime, more employers are opting to monitor data generated by fitness trackers.
Use tracking tech to get policy discounts
Tech developers in healthcare say insurance companies are in the works of figuring out how to best access the data generated by today’s fitness trackers like Fitbit.
Currently, company’s like Progressive are already using tracking gadgets in car insurance for some Americans. The company offers drivers a device they can plug into their dashboards so the company can monitor their driving over 30 days. Drivers identified as “safe drivers” become eligible for a discount.
Vaughn Kauffman, health industries advisor at PwC, said in an interview with Forbes.com, “If you think of the wearable devices as a way to value improvement of BMI, who knows maybe one day — it’s scary to think — but maybe on a real-time basis, the healthier you get the lower your premiums go.”
Plug directly into the healthcare system
According to Forbes.com, “while services like Fitbit, StickK and Wildflower sell to employers, other health tracking services are looking for lucrative partnerships in the healthcare system itself, which can involve working with insurers, too.”
Nudge, for instance, is a free app that aggregates fitness data from wearables to give users a health score of between 1 and 110. The company assures that insurance companies could use its data for risk mapping or for setting premiums. This means, like Progressive, insurance companies could possibly offer discounts to insurers based on their heath scores.
While the ability to receive discounts is definitely a positive, the result of greater monitoring could lead to some unintended consequences. Some believe tracking systems within the healthcare system could create a two-tier system where there are the haves (those who can afford the best health tracking devices can ultimately get access to lower premiums) and the have nots (those who can’t afford health tracking devices, and therefore aren’t eligible for lower premiums).
Low Health Insurance Rates
At Amigo Insurance, we make sure you have the lowest rates possible and the most effective coverage level based on your needs. While we can’t offer you a health tracking device, we can do all the hard work for you. Don’t let insurance be more complicated than it needs to be. We can help you find the best plan based on specific information you disclose to us. We then use that specific information to make sure to select the best coverage centered around your needs.