MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A growing number of health insurance companies are offering rewards for staying active, by connecting to activity trackers such as Apple Watch, FitBit, and Garmin devices.

Aetna will soon launch its Attain program, promising to set goals catered to the user and keeping track of progress through an Apple Watch. Users who meet their goals can earn either gift cards of money back towards the cost of their device.

Blue Cross Blue Shield’s rewards vary, but it gets technical with its information, measuring what it considers a person’s “real age.” The BCBS rewards program is compatible with several major wearable devices, as is UnitedHealthcare’s (UHC).

UHC sets three daily exercise goals: getting up and walking six times a day to avoid sitting in one place for too long, plus an intensity and a tenacity goal.

“It’s well documented and well researched that we all need to engage in some moderate level of moderate intense activity once a day,” said Paul Sterling, UHC’s vice president of emerging products when talking about the intensity goal. “It’s 3,000 steps in 30 minutes or less once a day. And then finally our tenacity goal [is] 10,000 steps throughout the course of the day.”

UHC’s program aligns with a monetary incentive, at $1 each.

“So if a member were to achieve all of those goals on a daily basis, three dollars is earned,” Sterling said. “That is deposited or flows into their Health Savings Account, or their HSA.”

Users can earn as much as $1,000 per year through UHC’s motion rewards program.

Christiane Cordero

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