Australian Health Insurance companies are starting to provide fitness trackers as away to encourage better health.
Activity Trackers provided by Medibank
Medibank Health Insurance has taken the progressive step of including a Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity Tracker with new signups to their Hospital and Extras cover. Prospective customers can sign up before 30/06/14. Its hoped that by encouraging their clients to keep an eye on their fitness and activity it will improve their health and reduce the number of claims made on their policies. With the advent of Health Kit, it’s a smart move for both parties as the insurance provider looks to save money, and their clients look for another way to keep themselves fit.
Insurance companies and the Internet of Things
As we take another step into the brave new world, Insurance companies will start to leverage all sort of passive technology to improve their industries. We’ve already seen examples of car insurers, such as Allstate in the USA, inserting devices into their drivers’ vehicles to monitor activity and give them a closer eye on their driving habits, giving them the insight needed to adjust premiums accordingly. Allstate’s Drivewise device has seen significant uptake from drivers, usually considered high-risk, looking to prove that they can be trusted behind the wheel.
Financial benefits of an Activity Tracker
In the same way that car premiums are adjusted based on driver activity, its conceivable that the health insurance industry will start to adjust their premiums in the future, based on the type of activity their clients are undertaking. Imagine the incentive to run 3 miles a day, knowing that Medibank will take $100 off of an annual premium as the device reports back to them. There are of course data implications and some people may not like the idea of Big Brother knowing your every move. However, for those who are serious about saving money and keeping healthy this seems like the perfect solution to killing two birds with one stone.