A new rewards program from UnitedHealthcare lets people earn money by completing various health goals using an Apple Watch or other wearable — with a giant catch.
UnitedHealthcare Rewards offers up to $1,000 per for eligible members, including spouses, by completing various daily health goals and one-time activities. Members can also use a smartphone capable of tracking health, such as an iPhone and Apple's Health app.
The money that members earn can be added to a prepaid debit card or deposited into a health savings account to help cover out-of-pocket medical costs.
Members can earn rewards by completing the following ongoing and one-time activities.
- Achieve 5,000 steps or more each day
- Complete 15 minutes or more of activity per day
- Track sleep for 14 nights
- Get a biometric screening
- Complete a health survey
- Select paperless billing
- Additional qualifying activities will be added throughout the year
UnitedHealthcare Rewards is now available to select employers with fully insured plans at the start of their new plan year. Later in 2023, more businesses with fully insured plans will have access, with the intention of allowing self-funded clients to buy UnitedHealthcare Rewards by the end of 2024.
The caveat is that UnitedHealthcare will need access members' Health data, such as sleep and exercise activity, that they might not have had before. As an insurance company, UnitedHealthcare could use the data in various ways, such as using it to make healthcare decisions.
It's a tradeoff involving highly sensitive data that is probably worth more than $1,000 per year to companies.