Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) is the first health insurance company to subsidize Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) smartwatch. The company covers about 23 million people in the United States and the decision to give customers and employees discounts on the watch could help Apple’s sales of wearable devices.
The health insurance provider also revealed that it is developing applications for the smartwatch that will help customers to remember to take their medications, refill prescriptions and contact doctors. Another way the apps could be used is helping people understand the sometimes complex insurance plans and use Apple Wallet to pay for their bills. The applications are currently in development and will be available in the app market next year.
Colin Gillis, a New York-based BGC Partners analyst, “The Watch is still screaming out for a use case, so if health-monitoring can be that, that’s useful, but it doesn’t tilt the company away from being the iPhone company.”