It's a steal, as long as you realize there are some conditions involved.
Fitness trackers like Apple Watches and Fitbits, generally aren’t as expensive as tech like smartphones and tablets, but they’re not exactly cheap. You certainly wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to snag one for free. And as it turns out, many insurance companies include fitness programs that either come with a complimentary tracker, allow you to earn a free tracker, or offer discounts towards a device.
The fitness rewards for some of the largest insurance companies to see which ones offered deals or freebies for Apple Watches and Fitbits. Now, not all insurance companies offer the same fitness tracking deals—some let you have a Fitbit or Apple Watch for “free” (with conditions, of course), while others merely provide discounts on the devices. Still, it’s worth looking into your provider’s promotions to see what you qualify for.
But that Fitbit or Apple Watch isn’t really “free”
However, it’s also worth reading the fine print. In many cases, your insurance company will have access to the activity and health data you generate while moving with the fitness tracker, as well as the data you provide in the insurance company’s app or connected health app on your phone.
While that’s not great, it’s also not exclusive to the fitness tracker deal:These privacy policies typically also apply if you simply use the provider’s health app. If you’re already using their programs, you’re not handing over much if any new information by opting in for a free fitness tracker. To prevent these companies from accessing your data, you’d have to stop using their apps entirely, so you’ll have to decide whether the apps and freebies are worth the privacy trade-off.
Those caveats aside, here are the devices and deals on offer from various providers.
United Healthcare — A free fitness tracker
Speaking of United Healthcare, if you’re under their insurance, you are eligible for the “Motion” app for iPhone and Android, which comes with a complimentary fitness tracker. While United Healthcare doesn’t specify on its site which trackers are eligible, HowToGeek reports you can qualify for a free Fitbit or Apple Watch after earning enough credits through your workouts. It’s possible the initial free tracker is a different, third-party option, and the Fitbit or Apple Watch comes down the line.
Aetna — A mostly free Apple Watch
Aetna customers have access to Attain by Aetna, an app is available for iPhone and Android, but which requires an Apple Watch to use. That’s why Aetna allows users to snag a mostly free Apple Watch (you’re responsible for the activation fee and sales tax).
However, you can’t sign up for the app, take your Watch, and sit back and relax. Aetna requires you to “pay” for the Watch with points earned from workouts and other fitness activity over the following 24 months. If you’re someone who’s generally active, that’s likely not going to be a problem. But if you’re getting into fitness for the first time, that could be a steep commitment. If you decide the workouts aren’t for you, but you still want the watch, you’ll need to pay the remaining difference.
Cigna — A free Apple Watch or Fitbit with subscription to Active&Fit
If you have Cigna, you can save 25% off an Active&Fit subscription. According to Active&Fit’s FAQ, standard plans are $29 a month, so you end up paying $21.75 per month. That might not sound as enticing as other offers here, but, as noted by HowToGeek, that subscription comes with a promo code towards a free Fitbit or Apple Watch. If you think you’d use the Active&Fit subscription, it could be a good deal for you.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield — 22% off a Fitbit
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s “Blue365" program offers a lot of deals, but a free fitness tracker ain’t one of them. Still, the company will take 22% off the purchase of a new Fitbit, and offers 12 months of Fitbit premium for free (tied to the Fitbit purchase). If you already have a Fitbit, you can get an annual membership for $56, $24 less than the normal price.
Since you don’t need to connect that discounted Fitbit to an app, you can safely get away with this discount without signing away your data. That’s a win in my book.
Humana — A credit towards Fitbit or Garmin
Humana’s program, Go365, allows you to earn credits while you workout, that you can exchange for rewards like a Fitbit or a Garmin. However, without access to the program, it isn’t clear how many credits you need to earn these fitness trackers, or whether those trackers are “free” or are simply at a discount. If you have access to Go365, dig in to find out.