Wearable technology has the potential to overhaul workplace healthcare insurance, according to health insurer UnitedHealthcare.
UnitedHealthcare recently partnered with Qualcomm to launch a new wellness programme, UnitedHealthcare Motion, that provides employees with wearable devices at no additional charge. These devices enable employees to earn up to $1,460 per year by meeting certain goals for the number of daily steps.
“UnitedHealthcare Motion brings together wearable technology, telemedicine and wellness incentives to empower employees to take charge of their health, while enabling employers to more effectively manage health care costs,” said Sam Ho, chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare. “Employees can improve their health by walking each day and earn financial rewards at the same time, using secure technology that is simple, intuitive and convenient.”
The wellness programme and related fitness trackers are being offered initially to companies with 101 to 300 employees with a fully insured health plan. Employees and their covered spouses receive custom-designed wearable devices that track the number of steps users take each day.
Employees using the device can earn health reimbursement account credits, while employers can obtain premium savings based on programme participants’ combined results. The collaboration with Qualcomm incorporates the latest generation of wearables, medical devices and home diagnostic tests.