Hundreds of thousands of UnitedHealthcare customers who participate in a health rewards program can now "walk off" the cost of an Apple Watch, essentially getting a $300 version of the device for free. The program could potentially encompass millions of new customers.
Apple is increasingly in talks with insurers about getting the cost of its Apple Watch subsidized, as it moves more deeply into the health and wellness space. It held meetings in August of last year with another insurer, Aetna, to discuss ways to bring the device to its more than 20 million members.
The integration with UnitedHealthcare, which is the largest U.S. health-care company, could mean a boost in sales of the Apple Watch as more people are able to buy it at an affordable price.
UnitedHealthcare, which is part of UnitedHealth Group, covers around 50 million people. Since 2015, it has been investing in its program called "Motion," which provides rewards to those who walk more than 10,000 steps per day. Hundreds of thousands of people are enrolled in Motion through their employer, said a UnitedHealthcare spokesperson.