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UnitedHealthcare will let plan-holders earn an (almost) free Apple Watch

It's an incentive to keep fit.

What's happening?

Fresh off of announcing it will be passing on drug rebates to its plan-holders, insurance giant UnitedHealthcare has another bonus for customers.

The company has announced it will be adding the Apple Watch 3 to its UnitedHealthcare Motion program – which sees the company put up to $1,000 into plan-holders' Health Savings Accounts if they meet fitness goals.

These goals are monitored by fitness trackers, in this case the Apple Watch, though The Verge notes UnitedHealth also supports other wearable devices including Fitbits and Garmins as part of the program.

Related:

– UnitedHealth will no longer keep discounts from big pharma.

How does it work?

UnitedHealthcare Motion, which has around 45 million health insurance customers, is available to employers who offer self-funded and fully-insured health plans to workers.

Meeting fitness goals allows plan-holders to earn up to $4-per-day that's used to pay off the Apple Watch 3 (which costs around $350).

Once it's paid off, United Healthcare starts putting the money (up to $1,000-a-year) into health savings accounts for out-of-pocket expenses.

The fitness goals people have to meet include:

  • Frequency: complete 500 steps within seven minutes six times per day, at least an hour apart;
  • Intensity: complete 3,000 steps within 30 minutes; and
  • Tenacity: complete 10,000 total steps each day.

Since the program started, UnitedHealth says its participants have walked 180 billion steps and earned $30 million in rewards.

Is it completely free?

Not exactly, you have to pay tax and shipping on the Apple Watch up-front, but after that you'll pay it off for nothing provided you meet your fitness goals.

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