Aetna’s 23 million health insurance customers could be offered exclusive deals on Apples Watches as early as next year, according to a CNBC report.
Three people familiar with the matter told CNBC that Apple and Aetna held a series of secret meetings on Thursday and Friday to discuss bringing Apple’s health and fitness smartwatches to Aetna’s network. Executives from Aetna and Apple, and hospital chief medical information officers from across the U.S., were reportedly in attendance.
It’s not clear whether Aetna customers would get free watches or just discounted devices.
The insurer has already been offering the Apple Watch to its own employees as part of Aetna’s wellness reimbursement program. And beginning last fall, Aetna said it was planning to make the Apple Watch available “to select large employers and individual customers during open enrollment season.”
Competing insurer UnitedHealthcare has a similar program, called Motion, in which employees with Fitbit trackers can earn up to $1,500 per year by meeting certain goals for daily activities. Fitbit has also partnered with other health and insurance companies in the past. Doing so has led to a lot of growth for the wearable company.
But, as of May, Apple Watch had finally dethroned Fitbit as the world’s top-selling wearable tracker, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. This news of a refreshed Aetna-Apple partnership could help the Apple Watch see continued success.