Life insurance provider John Hancock is set to begin offering Apple Watches to its customers at an out-of-pocket cost of $25 plus tax. The only catch is that the customer has to earn that price by exercising regularly.
According to CNBC, the company has already begun offering the watches to members of its Vitality life insurance program. Members who sign up for Vitality are eligible to receive a Series 3 Apple Watch for an initial cost of $25. The remaining cost of the device is put on a two-year installment plan. Payments are due monthly but can be reduced to as low as $0 per month with regular exercise.
John Hancock is not the first insurance provider to afford such a benefit. Aetna has been offering its employees Apple Watches for free (they just pay the sales tax) for a couple of years in an effort to help them lead more active lifestyles. The program was successful enough that the company is now considering expanding the program to customers starting in 2018.
These incentives come after Apple began partnering with insurance providers to offer the devices for fitness tracking. Apple and Aetna have been in discussions regarding expanding its existing employee program to its customers. It is unknown what kind of per-watch discounts Apple is offering providers but healthy customers are far less expensive to insure meaning the financial benefits come from more than just price reductions on the device.
Moreover, the programs seem to be working. For example, John Hancock initially offered the program to a limited number of customers who purchased life insurance policies of over $2 million. In that trial, the company saw a 20 percent increase in overall member activity. About half of the members got their watches for free by meeting monthly activity goals. Aetna saw similar results when it began offering the device to its employees.
Right now, Aetna and John Hancock are the only providers offering Apple Watches at drastic discounts but if Cupertino continues to court insurance companies, we may see similar programs launched by other carriers.