Major U.S. insurance company to sell only health-tracker backed life insurance

its like every one is about to say ok to having one of those house arrest tracking ankle rings.

omg I don’t want to be human any more its an embarrassment. if aliens show up I’m going to be so like hey i’m not with these guys. maybe in few years science will allow us to transition into dolphins… shit they put trackers on dolphins to … I’m going to go find a cave and renovate it with a faraday cage.

5 Likes

This might be a good idea in a system that offers universal health care if adequate privacy protections were implemented. But in America’s private insurance market? It’s “Pre-existing Conditions 2.0”

5 Likes

“Feel that? That’s the Invisible Hand of the Free Market probing your prostate.” :wink:

@Shuck “We’ll give you a voucher for a free pizza every month; but, if you cash any in, we’ll up your premium.”

Really, though, I’m guessing that “perks” will be money off services from their affiliated partners.

6 Likes

My insurance is like this. I don’t end up getting most of the “perks” but only the consequences, despite the fact that I pretty much maintain a healthier lifestyle than these apps suggest even. It’s just tracking every fucking thing in my life makes me want to die, I hate being fettered to technological devices and their corporate overlords, and unlike them I actually do care about my mental health beyond watching 2 min “stress buster” videos.

9 Likes

Someone at work was saying that’s the reason smokers’ health insurance rates aren’t substantially higher. This person said most of them have fatal heart attacks early on; their premiums cover for the relatively few remaining smokers who go on to linger through a slower expensive death of emphysema or cancer.

Unfortunately I have no other source of this information, nor any knowledge of if their statements were based on actual facts.

1 Like

I wouldn’t assume it is always for the benefit of screwing people over. We know for a fact that some people certainly need a bit of pushing, poking, prodding, and a little oversight to keep them on track with good health habits. The entire personal trainer, exercise video (like T-25 or P90x), and diet plan company (Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Awaken180) industries exist for a reason. Some people are simply bad at self motivation and they need support and resources. Those personal devices are nothing more than another form of it, and by extension the insurance company using that data to help lower costs and risks to both parties isn’t exactly an illogical next step nor necessarily for evil.

1 Like

Insurance is typically offered through employers. Telling a religious group you refuse to make a reasonable accommodation for their religious belief will not end well. The insurance company might dodge the bullet, but the employer would have a bad day.

2 Likes

Yes, but this isn’t actually about costs. It’s about shaming fat people:

“I don’t think 1984 is a good comparison for the Snowden revalations, since we are not at war with Eurasia”

I think what’s more likely is analyzing purchase histories bought from data brokers. Credit card usage can show how often you say, go to the bar or to McDonald’s. Rewards card data paired with CCs can give line item buying habits.

Personally I’ve started withdrawing my “entertainment” budget into cash every month, and I’m debating either buying groceries with cash or buying a gift card each month.

(It’d be interesting to know if they’re smart enough to figure out someone who buys a GC for $300 1x a month using a CC is using it themselves and not gifting it)

2 Likes

I don’t really take issue with them except that proving you maintain yourself without using the apps isn’t an option. If it were, I’d have no issue.

Actually it is an option. My employer has a health clinic on premises and we get the opportunity to do quarterly checkin’s that measure the primary “physical” attributes and record them. By doing so it adds to a pool of points that are used to credit your health insurance costs. You can earn up to a maximum of $250 off each quarter. Saving $1000 a year on my insurance costs for just spending 10 min getting weighed, blood pressure taken, etc…worth it. And I do it at my leisure and without being exposed to those devices.

Yes, I know I am fortunate that my employer does this…I’m merely pointing out it is not impossible is all.

1 Like

It happens all the time. You think everybody working Saturday or Sunday are non-religous people? If John Hancock were the only ones selling life insurance, you might have a point. But they are one of many companies in the space.

Ain’t that the truth.

I often reflect on how it’s funny that when they imagined surveillance state in the past it was always thrust on the people by the state, like the speakers in North Korean households that can’t be turned off.

The truth is, we are in a surveillance state - and we have welcomed it. Waiting in line overnight, cash in hand, to buy the latest “tracking device that lets you make calls”, and gleefully clicking through EULAs to obtain some “Free” services.

4 Likes

You kid, but that is essentially what my mother got from her health insurance for jumping through some hoops to show she was taking care of herself - a voucher for an incredibly unhealthful chain restaurant. She was flabbergasted and, needless to say, didn’t use it.

They aren’t though - they’re intrusive data collection devices that gather information that can be used to deny coverage/payments in the future. They’ll lower risk to the company and increase profits more than they’ll lower costs to customers (otherwise they wouldn’t bother). They’re also another pretty obvious step (and hardly the first one) towards insuring only those who need it the least.

6 Likes

Do you have a background in the law? Just because two words have a colloquial meaning doesn’t mean they don’t also have specific legal meaning that is counter-intuitive.

For example, the term is “reasonable accomodation” uses the word “reasonable” for a reason - you need to be able to perform the job. If the job involves working on evenings or weekends, it is not a “reasonable” accommodation to ask not to be scheduled during those times.

An example of a reasonable religious accommodation would be more like allowing an employee to wear a hat or hijab, even if a company dress code normally bans it.

A better example might be is if a company generally approves use of PTO if requested at least 1 month in advance, but consistently denies requests for religious holidays while allowing requests for secular vacations that are during similar dates/times.

Over time, such a pattern of disparate impact can be evidence of illegal discrimination.

Since having a specific type of highly invasive insurance is unrelated to the core operation of the business, it would be much harder to argue such a practice is, forgive the pun, kosher.

1 Like

Huh? In what way is my partner’s Apple Watch violating her privacy? None of her data goes back to anyone.

Of course, if you choose to install an app that gives your data to others, that’s a different story. I’m not sure if the same is true of Fitbit or not, but in the watch’s case, you are definitely able to choose to use it in a way that protects your privacy, and IMHO many are conscious of that very fact.

1 Like

My doctor sibling has occasionally commented that nothing is better for the financial health of the Medicare trust fund than massive, unexpected cardiac arrest at age 50.

2 Likes

No kidding. Hey, jan_ciger, what society are you living in? BTW, your smart TV just sent me a message. brb!

Absolutely true. And I was more commenting on those that use those devices to feed data to various sources. Its a voluntary action, and my point was in if one has already chosen that…I doubt they have any issue with the insurance company then also getting said info.

1 Like

Of course, if your employer ever needs to cut back on its workforce, you can trust it to not allow any of that data to be used in the decision making about who goes and who stays.