How productive would it be if you could get money off those costly heath insurance deductibles, given you kept up with your gym commitment? It means not ditching free weights over an hour of Suits on Netflix. But if you missed it, your deductible booms. It could be a happy proposition or a destructive one, Pact Health says so!
As per an AP poll, insurance plans with high deductibles (which by the way are quite popular) are preventing people from getting the healthcare they need. Around 19% of respondents were privately insured adults who brushed off visiting the doctor when ill. The number climbed to 29% who happened to have high deductible plans.
“We saw a very interesting opportunity. There’s no reason your deductible has to be a dumb deductible – an incentive that doesn’t change. If we can change people’s behavior, we’re generating value for insurance companies.”
Yifan Zhang, the CEO of Pact
Pact has an existing app that allows users to make commitments where they lose or make money depending on how they keep up. Presently, there are three kinds of pacts available on the app:
App that Increases or Lowers your Healthcare Insurance Deductible
Gym Pact counts any kind of run. This also includes bike rides for half an hour, visiting the gym, taking 10,000 steps of walking.
In Veggie Pact members can take an image of their fruit and vegetable intake and get them verified by the community.
Lastly, the Food Log Pact enables users to make money off regular food logging on MyFitnessPal.
Let’s put it this way. You exercise four times a week. For every workout, you receive a cash reward. But if you fail to do so, you lose the cash, which in turn goes to the pool which pays members who are fulfill their gyming commitments. Pact utilizes GPS to track activities, in addition to step trackers like Fitbit, and its partner apps like RunKeeper and an internal step tracker.
Pact Health operates on a similar basis. It is an additional health plan which users can purchase along with Pact’s regular plan. Here, employees sign up for a specific plan and get their options set accordingly. For every workout that is missed, it adds $5 to the health insurance deductible. Users can earn up to $1,300 in deductible savings each year. But if they miss all of their planned workout commitments, they can add until it reaches $500 on their deductible.
Crazy enough? Not so. It is not that bad compared to the terrorizing prospect of paying more health care than actually earning on it. It is completely elective, where employees can make a choice whether to participate in the challenge or not.
It should be noted that, offering insurance incentives isn’t a new concept at all. As a matter of fact, some insurers browbeat employees with higher deductibles who fail to take certain initiative towards their wellbeing such as quitting smoking. Pact Health has tried to make it more lucrative by helping people keep their health costs to a minimum and at the same time making sure that employees take the right steps towards their wellbeing.
Pact Health will first be released in December 2014 in Massachusetts.