Could using a fitness band reduce your insurance costs?

Submitted by carol on Tue, 08/18/2015 - 11:34
Image removed. Getting discounts on your health or life insurance premiums is always enticing, and more when you are required to do just nothing for the benefits. Nowadays, some employers are offering fitness bands at subsidized rates or just for free to employees who meet specific goals like averaging 10,000 steps a day and rewarding with insurance discounts, gift cards and other valuables. The programs are intended to benefit everyone. The employees will walk their way to become healthier. The employers will get more active and productive workers and will definitely have to assume less in healthcare and insurance costs. Insurance providers too will get healthier policyholders, who in turn will make fewer claims. “Incentives line up so nicely for employees, employers and insurance companies that I can’t see this trend slowing down,” says Dan Ledger, a consultant with Endeavour Partners. Though the scopes and practices of the programs vary from one another, most of them encourage the participants to walk a certain number of steps per day. The programs also require the participants to requalify each year. The employees of the Houston Methodist hospital earn entries for prize drawings and are eligible to receive up to $520 off their 2016 health insurance premiums. “This program has helped motivate me,” says Vivian Robinson, who coordinates grants for the hospital and aims to take 10,000 steps a day. Major insurers, too, are getting into the act. John Hancock is offering a program that rewards eligible policyholders with up to 15% off on their life insurance premiums if they walk a certain number of steps and other healthy behaviors, like getting a yearly flu shot. Many fitness bands are also collecting data like, your sleep patterns, and heart rate. However, before getting enrolled in a program, check for the data that is collected and if possible, ask to report your steps and not your sleep patterns.
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