John Hancock expands Apple Watch health data monitoring program to all life insurance poli...

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited September 2018
Venerable health insurance company John Hancock is pivoting towards "interactive life insurance," with the provider now requiring all policy holders to sign up for a program that offers optional tracking of their fitness with wearables and apps.

John Hancock rewards


In a change to its longtime business model, life insurance giant John Hancock is adding Vitality, its "behavior change platform," to all of its life policies. All current John Hancock policies will convert to Vitality policies in 2019.

Policy holders can reduce their premiums and also earn gift cards and other product rewards, if they exercise regularly, as shown by their wearable device. This model of "interactive life insurance" was first offered by John Hancock in 2015, and will now apply to all of the company's life insurance policies.

"Both tracker usage and data sharing are optional," John Hancock spokesman Christophe Hollocou said in an email to AppleInsider on Friday. "For those who choose neither, they will not receive discounts or rewards and will pay the standard/original premium."

It isn't clear if this is a revision to the program as announced, or a clarification of the materials originally promulgated about the program.

Not only is the new model likely to incentivize John Hancock customers to use Apple Watches and health tracking apps, but the Apple Watch is among the reward products for the program, "for as little as $25." Customers can also choose to receive a complementary Fitbit.

"You can order Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) by electronically signing, at checkout, a Retail Installment Agreement with the Vitality Group, for the retail price of the watch," John Hancock's website says. "After an initial payment of $25 plus tax, over the next two years, monthly out of pocket payments are based on the number of workouts completed." Apple is not, the company said, a sponsor or participant in the program.

John Hancock had offered a similar deal along with Vitality last year, although at that point Vitality was only an optional program for Hancock policy holders.

"The remarkable results of our Vitality offering convinced us this is the only path forward for the industry," Brooks Tingle, president and CEO of John Hancock Insurance, said in the announcement.

"We have smart phones, smart cars and smart homes. It's time for smart life insurance that meets the changing needs of consumers," added Tingle. "We believe offering Vitality on all life insurance policies, at no additional cost, is the right thing to do for our customers, our business and society. We believe this is the future of our industry, and I encourage other insurance companies to follow suit."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    xbitxbit Posts: 226member
    Let's hope all of these fitness trackers are accurate and error-free. Let's also hope that these schemes aren't gameable and the companies respect customer's data privacy.
    jbdragonrazorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 40
    Yest another loser in the business. Does he know what happend to few car renting companies when they tried tracking car and technique of driving? So no many of us will not wear some funky device because health insurance had this idea. It is convenience - not regulatory part... and watch when regulators and auithorities try that demand and stop it. They just start building case against them. We have diffeent levels of activity. When you seat in race car on track for your own pleasure the blood pressure and pulse is so hight that would blow up that iWatch probably as it is designed for lightweiight workout comparing to real endurance/stress/adrenaline sports thats some of us perform. If you are targetting coach potato with insurance then go ahead. I can see how that person will execute some healt taking orders prescribed by insurance company. That is going to be interesting. Good luck John Hancock.
    edited September 2018 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 3 of 40
    If reporting the data is not required, then they apparently only have the guarantee that the customer owned a fitness tracker at one point in time? I also understand that most life insurance policies are pretty solid contracts, and that the company can't strong arm the customer into jumping through hoops or make additions/addendums to it. I appreciate that JH is trying to get people off their couches (and with the reported fattening of the USA it's sorely needed), but an incentive-only program is probably the way to go. The lower risk people (presumably the fitter ones) should pay lower rates.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 40
    No thanks...I'll pass Lol.
    mike1muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 40
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,817member
    It was inevitable. The personal version of the stupid devices that plug into the ODB II ports on cars to reveal exactly how you drive. No thanks.
    razorpit
  • Reply 6 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,361member
    Yest another loser in the business. Does he know what happend to few car renting companies when they tried tracking car and technique of driving? So no many of us will not wear some funky device because health insurance had this idea. It is convenience - not regulatory part... and watch when regulators and auithorities try that demand and stop it. They just start building case against them. We have diffeent levels of activity. When you seat in race car on track for your own pleasure the blood pressure and pulse is so hight that would blow up that iWatch probably as it is designed for lightweiight workout comparing to real endurance/stress/adrenaline sports thats some of us perform. If you are targetting coach potato with insurance then go ahead. I can see how that person will execute some healt taking orders prescribed by insurance company. That is going to be interesting. Good luck John Hancock.
    This is one of the largest life insurers. It has nothing to do with regulation. There is no doubt that eventually, all life insurers will require this.
    jbdragonSpamSandwichfotoformatrazorpitclaire1watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 40
    peteopeteo Posts: 348member
    mike1 said:
    It was inevitable. The personal version of the stupid devices that plug into the ODB II ports on cars to reveal exactly how you drive. No thanks.
    Yeah, I do not like the car thing and I do not like that this is required. But I do like that its offered and I like the idea of getting a discount if you work out. 
    I think health insurance should go this way. From the data so far we know that getting people to be moderately active is a good thing for health. I just do not think it should be required. It should be optional, and people who do opt in should get a discount.

    What I do find funny is this attitude that I do not want to pay for someone else's healthcare, but I'm fine if I sit on my ass and someone has to pay when I have a heart attack or other problems because I refuse to exercise. Just does not make sense to me.
    edited September 2018 arlomediaJWSCclaire1muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 40
    The problem I have, and many people have, with my Apple Watch is I can’t wear it for most of my time at work, as I work in an area where portable electronic devices are not permitted. I regularly hit my exercise and calorie goals because I can wear it while working out, but never once hit my stand goal because I never have it on during the day. What would a company like John Hancock say when they look at that information? To them, they’d see me as sitting on a couch for the vast majority of the day and being active for only an hour or so. Not sure how that would play out with a policy like this.
    netroxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 40
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,376member
    AF_Hitt said:
    The problem I have, and many people have, with my Apple Watch is I can’t wear it for most of my time at work, as I work in an area where portable electronic devices are not permitted. I regularly hit my exercise and calorie goals because I can wear it while working out, but never once hit my stand goal because I never have it on during the day. What would a company like John Hancock say when they look at that information? To them, they’d see me as sitting on a couch for the vast majority of the day and being active for only an hour or so. Not sure how that would play out with a policy like this.
    Actually, I believe 30 min to an hour of moderate exercise 3-4 days a week is all that’s required for minimum health benefits. So you’re probably well into the healthy zone as far as insurance stats, if that’s all you were actually doing. That said, the standards may vary by insurance company and individual policy. 
    edited September 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 40
    melgross said:
    Yest another loser in the business. Does he know what happend to few car renting companies when they tried tracking car and technique of driving? So no many of us will not wear some funky device because health insurance had this idea. It is convenience - not regulatory part... and watch when regulators and auithorities try that demand and stop it. They just start building case against them. We have diffeent levels of activity. When you seat in race car on track for your own pleasure the blood pressure and pulse is so hight that would blow up that iWatch probably as it is designed for lightweiight workout comparing to real endurance/stress/adrenaline sports thats some of us perform. If you are targetting coach potato with insurance then go ahead. I can see how that person will execute some healt taking orders prescribed by insurance company. That is going to be interesting. Good luck John Hancock.
    This is one of the largest life insurers. It has nothing to do with regulation. There is no doubt that eventually, all life insurers will require this.
    Just like all vehicle insurance companies will eventually require autonomous systems or the vehicle will be considered too risky.
    JWSCrazorpit
  • Reply 11 of 40
    I'm dubious since I sometimes get my Stand in for the hour by hanging arm to side of armrest and swing it to and fro.
  • Reply 12 of 40
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 280member
    I'm dubious since I sometimes get my Stand in for the hour by hanging arm to side of armrest and swing it to and fro.
    You should start a blog on all the different ways to game the system.  Could get a lot of web traffic in the coming years.
    king editor the gratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 40
    Required? No thanks. Maybe an opt in and receive a discount? I'm ok with that.
    grifmxmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 40
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Phil is making Apple rich!
  • Reply 15 of 40
    Yest another loser in the business. Does he know what happend to few car renting companies when they tried tracking car and technique of driving? So no many of us will not wear some funky device because health insurance had this idea. It is convenience - not regulatory part... and watch when regulators and auithorities try that demand and stop it. They just start building case against them. We have diffeent levels of activity. When you seat in race car on track for your own pleasure the blood pressure and pulse is so hight that would blow up that iWatch probably as it is designed for lightweiight workout comparing to real endurance/stress/adrenaline sports thats some of us perform. If you are targetting coach potato with insurance then go ahead. I can see how that person will execute some healt taking orders prescribed by insurance company. That is going to be interesting. Good luck John Hancock.
    iWatch? Not able to handle the "real" sports that you perform? Oh, do tell....

    Myself, I lift heavy weights 4 days a week, plus HIIT and LISS cardio and it keeps up just fine. 
    claire1watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,361member
    melgross said:
    Yest another loser in the business. Does he know what happend to few car renting companies when they tried tracking car and technique of driving? So no many of us will not wear some funky device because health insurance had this idea. It is convenience - not regulatory part... and watch when regulators and auithorities try that demand and stop it. They just start building case against them. We have diffeent levels of activity. When you seat in race car on track for your own pleasure the blood pressure and pulse is so hight that would blow up that iWatch probably as it is designed for lightweiight workout comparing to real endurance/stress/adrenaline sports thats some of us perform. If you are targetting coach potato with insurance then go ahead. I can see how that person will execute some healt taking orders prescribed by insurance company. That is going to be interesting. Good luck John Hancock.
    This is one of the largest life insurers. It has nothing to do with regulation. There is no doubt that eventually, all life insurers will require this.
    Just like all vehicle insurance companies will eventually require autonomous systems or the vehicle will be considered too risky.
    It’s the way things are going. What some are concerned about is how all of this information will be used. Will they raise rates because your readings aren’t good enough? It’s tough to tell, but eventually, there will be legislation stating what they can do with this data, and what they can’t.
    edited September 2018 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 17 of 40
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,361member

    I'm dubious since I sometimes get my Stand in for the hour by hanging arm to side of armrest and swing it to and fro.
    The only one you’re fooling is yourself. You should just turn it off then.
    claire1watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 40
    My 82-year-old father is going to LOVE hearing that his premium may go up unless he buys a device that he doesn't understand and remembers to earn enough "Vitality Points"  every month. To him, a watch tells time, period. He's had a smart phone for 2-3 years that he never uses because he forgets how to use it and due to his poor eyesight, the tiny screen is very difficult for him to read. I can just see the hours of conversation I will soon be having with my father.

    DAD: "A what?" ME: "They are called "Vitality Points" dad." DAD: "I don't understand. What is that?" ME: "They are points that you earn for exercising." DAD: "Points for what?" ME: "Well, in your case the points will reduce your premium." DAD: "So now I have to keep track of points?!" ME: "No, the Apple Watch will keep track of your points." DAD: "What? How is a watch going to do that?"  etc., etc., for hours.

    Thank you John Hancock.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 40
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,766member
    Venerable health insurance company John Hancock is pivoting towards "interactive life insurance," with the provider now requiring all policy holders to track their fitness with wearables and apps. 
    As far as I know John Hancock does not offer health insurance.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    xbit said:
    Let's hope all of these fitness trackers are accurate and error-free. Let's also hope that these schemes aren't gameable and the companies respect customer's data privacy.
    lol
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