Humana (HUM) Expands Pact With Fitbit to Rein in Claim Cost

Health insurer Humana Inc. HUM has extended its partnership (since 2013) with Fitbit, Inc. FIT , the leading global wearables brand.

The arrangement between the two companies will aid Humana's members in the employer group segment to adopt and implement healthy behaviors, which in turn would prevent and manage chronic health conditions.

Fitbit's health coaching solution named Fitbit Care, will help more than 5 million Humana members access ways to make necessary lifestyle changes in order to better manage chronic and complex diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Humana already has a comprehensive range of wellness programs and capabilities, such as Go365 and the Humana Employee Assistance Program. These programs help employers control rising costs related to worker health, such as increased healthcare consumption and lost productivity. Fitbit Care will be another addition to Humana's wellness program.

Alongside, Humana also announced that its Go365 clock face will be available on Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic devices. This would make members' Go365 activity data accessible right from the wrist.

The new clock face will allow members to track their health statistics, such as their daily and weekly step progress toward their goals, and update their Go365 Status directly on their device. This should enable them to keep a tab on their health and fitness goals.

In a year's time, the Humana stock has gained 40% compared with the industry 's growth of 37%.

Other health insurers like Anthem Inc. ANTM and Cigna Corp. CI are also using wearables as a preventive measure to track their members' health outcome.

Wearables are gaining prominence in the healthcare industry. They come in handy to track fitness and post-operative care of patients within a short span of time. Doctors are using wearables to keep track of patients' health. Moreover, smart wearable sensors not only help in health monitoring but also in data analysis.

For health insurers, using wearables is a way to control medical claim costs, which would aid their margins.

Humana carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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