Apple is reportedly talking with at least private Medicare plans about getting Apple Watches into the hands of millions of people over the age of 65. It makes a lot of sense for Apple to do that, health experts told CNBC, since it could prevent expensive doctor or hospital visits.
The report says talks have yet to result in any official deals. CNBC says Apple has paid a visit to several of the largest insurers in the market, as well as some smaller, venture-backed Medicare Advantage plans.
About 19 million seniors are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, which are private health plans that receive government payouts for providing services to seniors — about $10,000 per member, on average. The plans provide coverage within Part C of Medicare in the U.S.
Medicare Advantage health plans pay for managed health care based on a monthly fee per enrollee, rather than on the basis of billing a fee for each medical service provided Consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers expects the Medicare Advantage market to generate more than $350 billion in annual revenue by 2020, although the market is regulated to limit insurers' profits, according to CNBC.
Apple has previously signed a deal with insurance giants Aetna and United Healthcare about subsidizing the cost of the watch.