Start-Up Medicare Advantage Provider to Cover Apple Watch

October 13, 2019

Devoted Health will reimburse seniors if they choose to participate in the plan’s Wellness Bucks Program.

Apple Watches and other “wearables” will be offered to members of Devoted Health, a start-up healthcare provider targeted to senior citizens, by 2020.

Devoted Health will reimburse up to $150 toward participation of the wearable product, Mike Swords, provider service representative of the healthcare provider, said to Managed Healthcare Executive.

Swords says the initiative is a Medicare replacement plan for members of Devoted Health who qualify for the provider’s Medicare plan.

Devoted solely serves members who reside in Florida, but will be expanding coverage to Texas by 2020.

The purpose of the wearables is to “track (member’s) heart rates and to track fitness,” Swords says. “It’s not just Apple Watches, but any wearable product or brand that tracks your number of steps.”

These benefits will be offered in the plan’s Wellness Bucks program.

Related:The Use of Wearables in Health Studies

Members who participate in the program can purchase: an Apple Watch or other wearable options; participate in instructional fitness or educational classes like Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi and more; participate in nutritional counseling with a licensed nutritional counselor or registered dietitian, diabetes workshop programs and AAA Senior Driving program; participate in program fees for weight loss programs like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers or hospital-based weight loss programs.

Information reported by CNBC says that Devoted, which was founded by brothers and entrepreneurs Todd and Ed Park, is attempting to differentiate itself in an increasingly crowded market of Medicare Advantage plans through its focus on “world-class technology.”

Devoted was valued at $1.8 billion when it raised $300 million about a year ago, according to CNBC’s report.

More than 20 million Americans over the age of 65, and growing, are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage program, the report said.

With products like Apple, it has been pursuing the older population by introducing features and services that are intended to be beneficial for these users, such as fall detection and heart health monitoring, the report said.

Medicare plans have more of an incentive to embrace consumer-facing technologies and are looking for ways to invest in members’ long-term health and wellbeing, according to the report.

Briana Contreras is associate editor for Managed Healthcare Executive.