Wellness program wearables could lead to denied coverage for some workers
- Partnerships between fitness tracking companies and insurance providers could one day prompt insurers to deny health coverage to consumers if certain protections in the ACA were repealed, reports the Dayton Business Journal.
- Under certain UnitedHealthcare plans, for example, those covered may wear Fitbit activity trackers that report their health data to the insurance company. In return, participants could receive up to $1,500 in incentives per year.
- If Republican lawmakers follow through on their repeal of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could use the activity tracking data to deny consumers health coverage.
Data transmission of any kind can be used for unintended — and sometimes negative — purposes. That’s just one hazard of transmitting what could be classified as personal information.
The possibility of transmitting activity-tracking data causing consumers to lose their health coverage largely depends on whether certain provisions of the ACA are repealed, particularly those addressing pre-existing conditions. Wellness program rules were recently installed by the EEOC to prevent discrimination under the ADA, though parts of these rules depend on the ACA's interpretation of wellness as well.
Republican lawmakers and President Donald Trump have vowed to repeal the law, but the process won’t be as easy as they anticipated. Employers should wait to see if or when Republicans come up with their plan for replacing the law.
- Dayton Business Journal Could your Fitbit data be used to deny you health insurance?
- HR Dive Wearable gadgets in the workplace require careful consideration