Private Medicare Plan Coverage Offering Subsidies for the Apple Watch

Devoted Health is the first private health insurance company with Medicare plans to offer the market a discount on the Apple Watch. Its advertising materials indicate that it will help its members acquire the Apple Watch for up to $150 off of the retail price.

Apple Inc. is currently in talks with many health insurers to cover the Apple Watch. This suggests its intention to enter the healthcare market.

Devoted Health is a start-up health insurance company that is targeting seniors with its private Medicare plans. It is the first private health insurer to provide the Apple Watch as a fitness, and health monitoring advantage to its members.

Introducing the Apple Watch as an incentive is an attempt to stand out in an increasingly crowded market of Medicare Advantage Plans. 

Devoted Health was founded in 2017 by the entrepreneurial duo Todd and Ed Park. Devoted Health is currently valued at over $1.8 billion, following the $300 million that was raised last year. 

Devoted Health intends to cover up to $150 off the cost of Apple Watch as part of the benefits of enrolling in its Medicare Advantage Plan.

Currently, there are 20 million Americans over the age of 65 who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plans and the number is growing.

Medicare Advantage plans vs. Medicare Supplement plans are run by private health insurers approved by Medicare to cover senior citizens’ health. These plans come with a wide range of benefits such as vision, dental and hearing care that make them popular among seniors.

For Apple, working with Medicare is a significant effort to boost its sales as seniors are increasingly embracing smart technology. The Apple Watch has many benefits for the senior population because it comes with features such as heart health monitoring (ECG) and fall detection.

Medicare Advantage Plans can use the Apple Watch as an incentive to attract seniors to sign up. Unfortunately, people might have to wait a long time to see any incentivized offers through government lead plans. There are numerous private Medicare plans to choose from, it’s just a matter of shopping around.

Apple has been working with health insurers such as Devoted Health for months about subsidizing the cost of the Apple Watch. It is also working with commercial insurers such as Aetna and Life Insurers such as John Hancock to help their members access this fantastic product.

How it will work

Devoted Health will cover up to $150 of the cost of the device. The Apple Watch Series 3 is currently available for $199 and later versions will sell from $349 upwards. Devoted Health indicated through its promotional materials that it would provide $150 every year in costs for “Wellness Bucks”.

Wellness Bucks is a reimbursement program that compensates a member for costs incurred due to purchases of the Apple watch, and participation in weight loss programs. Those who do not have a smartphone can resort to attending fitness programs, which is the most commonly offered benefit.

Devoted Health Members can use their Wellness Bucks cover to acquire the Apple Watch. Kenneth Baer, who is the company’s spokesperson said that using innovative technologies to improve the quality of health care is its core mission.