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John Hancock will offer fitness tracking benefits for all policies (updated)

The basic tier add-on is free to all policy holders.
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Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Life insurance company John Hancock is going "interactive." The company, which is one of the oldest and largest life insurance underwriters in the US, will offer all of its life insurance policy holders additional incentives and benefits for adding fitness tracking to their plans for free.

The company will offer two different types of add-ons: the basic Vitality GO will offer fitness and nutrition advice and resources; as customers reach goals and milestones, they will be rewarded through discounts at "major outlets." This tier will be free. For a $2 per month fee, Vitality PLUS members will receive up to 15 percent discount on premiums. Customers can earn a $25 Apple Watch or free Fitbit for fitness tracking, as well as rewards for exercising, eating healthy and getting regular check ups.

This isn't John Hancock's first foray into health and fitness tracking for its life insurance policies. The company began offering "interactive" programs back in 2015. Last year, John Hancock began offering customers a $25 Apple Watch if they met certain fitness goals. This emphasis on fitness and health tracking comes from the company's data, which suggests that current Vitality policy holders live 13–21 years longer than the rest of the population and have 30 percent lower hospitalization costs.

The idea of incentivizing life insurance policy holders to stay fit and thus live longer makes sense. Because these programs aren't compulsory, it's up to policy holders whether they want to trade fitness and health data for discounts and other incentives.

Correction, September 21st, 11:30 AM: A previous version of this article stated that John Hancock's Vitality fitness tracking add-ons would be required to obtain life insurance. The article has been corrected to reflect that these are simply add-ons to encourage a healthier lifestyle. We apologize for the error in reporting.

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