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Aetna Customers Getting Free Apple Watch?


Aetna is likely to offer a free or discounted Apple Watch to all eligible customers as a perk, CNBC reported.

The health insurer and Apple are reportedly in talks to bring the Apple Watch to Aetna's around 23 million people.

As per the report, Apple and Aetna met in secret last week to discuss the plan. The talks involve executives as well as chief medical information officers from hospitals around the US.

With the planned move, Aetna reportedly hopes to encourage customers to lead a healthier life with the smartwatches that would result in fewer insurance claims.

For Apple, the move would be part of its growing plans to become a mainstay in digital health. It will get millions of new Apple Watch customers, with which it can cement the Watch's reputation as a fitness tool.

According to recent IDC research, Apple is competing with low-cost wearable maker Xiaomi for first place in fitness tracking.

Aetna is already giving its workers free Apple Watches. In September last year, Aetna said that it would provide Apple Watch at no cost to its own nearly 50,000 employees, who will participate in the company's wellness reimbursement program, to encourage them to live more productive, healthy lives.

The company also had agreed then to subsidize a portion of the Apple Watch's cost to some of its customers to promote health, manage care, and monitor use of medication. Customers were allowed to pay the remainder of the watch's cost through monthly payroll deductions.

Aetna also said then that it was planning several iOS-exclusive health initiatives, starting with deeply integrated health apps for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch to help customers manage their health and increase healthy outcomes.

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