Oscar Insurance is encouraging frequent, gentle exercise by offering gift vouchers as rewards to customers in New York and New Jersey.
Regular readers of Springwise will have no doubt noticed a growing wave of insurance and finance companies using tracking technology and monetary incentives to encourage healthier lifestyles from their customers.
We’ve already seen Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s EatRight rewards scheme use tracking technology to monitor employee’s food shopping habits and Alfa-Bank Alfa-Bank in Russia — which rewards customers for every step they run. Now, Oscar Insurance is providing customers with a free Misfit Flash fitness tracker and encouraging them to reach their recommended 10,000 steps a day – rewarding them with up to USD 240 per year in Amazon vouchers.
The New York-based startup were inspired by the US Surgeon Generals’ recommendation that walking every day can have a real impact on many of the top killers in US — such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Oscar Insurance’s new policy is distinctive amongst similar initiatives in that it aims to encourage regular, gentle exercise with a small reward — USD 1 per day or USD 20 per day in Amazon gift cards — but has no built it financial punishments.
To begin, customers download the companion app which automatically syncs with their free wristband. They are then set a personal daily goal — influenced by their current fitness and sometimes as low as 2000 steps per day. The initial goal gradually increases much like a normal fitness regime. This is the latest addition to Oscar Insurance’s technology driven policies, which also enable the customer to connect with healthcare professionals in their area and allow patients and doctors to track and review their healthcare details.
Co-founder Mario Schlosser says “When we started Oscar, there was the fitness tracker, and there was the world of health insurance, and the two rarely spoke. So it’s exciting to be in the middle of a sea of new information for providers that hopefully can contribute to better care.”
Are there other health tech developments that could make insurance policies simpler or fairer?