Wearable technology might be limited to calorie counting, heartbeat monitoring and REM sleep recording, but it’s making headway in the medical world. More importantly: It’s about to potentially affect health insurance.
In 2014, wearable tech introduced to physicians the ability to track patient health. An easy-to-use solution, the wearable approach soon became standardized as a way to track blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and breathing patterns. Data, alone, is certainly enough to sway the industry’s approach to health coverage—and in a few ways:
One: Healthy Patient Incentives
Already, health insurance providers like BCBS are creating patient incentives based upon wearable-recorded milestones. Policyholders can obtain cash bonuses, prizes and even discounted tickets. Previously, such amenities were exclusive to the car insurance crowd. Now, the healthier a smartwatch’s wearer is, the better prizes they’ll receive for staying insured.
Two: Better Rates
In the past, patients were deemed to be “in good health” at the hands of a doctor. While medical approval is still important, wearable technology might soon become a policyholder’s way of receiving better rates. Today, about two-thirds of insurance executives consider wearables to be a future insurance discount tool.
Three: Personalized Insurance Plans
Wearables will likely make personalized insurance plans possible, too. By viewing a patient’s genetic factors, insurance providers can carefully monitor their ongoing health risks. Already, Google is working on wearable tech capable of detecting heart attacks before they occur.
Four: Fluid Coverage Options
Because wearables will identify healthy lifestyle choices, display daily data and help providers view changing factors, insurance companies will likely adopt increasingly fluid methods of patient support. Patients capable of showing their providers proof of constant blood pressure, for example, may qualify for ongoing coverage options in the future. Of course, carriers will need to be in good health to do so.
Five: Increasingly Detailed Information
Because 31 percent of Americans already use wearables, the scale of health-watching approaches is increasing greatly. In the near future, wearables will be able to calculate far more than heart beats and breathing rates. Likely, the medical world will benefit from highly detailed insights into patient issues, determining ongoing care plans in particular cases.
Advancements in the world’s satellite internet technology is changing the way we use wearable technology. Today, internet-powered wearables are increasing in number, making online support a viable avenue in the future. In the health world, providers are getting more information about illnesses and ailments than ever before.
If you have questions about your health insurance coverage, comment below. Simpson Financial Group, Inc. has got you covered!