Under the new rules established by the Affordable Care Act, employers are now able to give greater health care discounts to workers who are trying to get healthier. FitLinxx is just one of the companies leveraging fitness analytics to lower insurance rates for employers through a proprietary fitness tracking program. Multiple insurance companies, including Aetna and Kaiser, are also offering health-monitoring apps to give users a more personalized view of their vitals.
Here are some pros and cons for sharing your fitness information:
- Saving Money: While the Affordable Care Act makes healthcare more affordable for some, quite a few have seen their insurance costs rise substantially. Then again, even if your insurance premiums are manageable it never hurts to have a little bit more cash in your pocket.
- Better Doctor Visits: Tracking and sharing your health information makes it easier for doctors to understand and diagnose illnesses not only during routine visits, but also in emergency situations. Doctors are also able to provide much better aftercare if patients have reliable data before and after any significant medical event.
- Understanding Your Body: Tracking your own health keeps you informed of how your body reacts to different stimuli, and can lead to better health choices on a daily basis. When used for exercise, fitness trackers can help you figure out when you are pushing yourself too hard and when you need to double down on your efforts.
- Privacy Issues: Sharing your daily routine with insurers may save you a few bucks, but you also put yourself at greater risk of identity theft with very personal information at stake. Data breaches at international corporations are becoming commonplace and hackers can steal and distribute millions of accounts before being detected.
- Not Enough Time: While health and fitness monitors crunch the major data for you, not all activities are automatically tracked. Some apps make you log in to input what you ate during the day, or to log activities you weren’t able to track with your devices. All that time adds up, and it certainly doesn’t interest everyone to bureaucratically micromanage their entire day.
- Disputed Claims: Sharing health information isn’t just a one-way street for saving money. Insurance companies are likely to use health tracking as a way to dispute and deny claims for coverage, much in the same way that social networks have been used to help identify potential fraudulent claims.