CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) recently announced it will be offering access to Apple Fitness+ when it becomes available later this year. CVS Health will offer a one-year subscription to its health insurance members through Aetna, which it acquired in 2018. For its CVS Pharmacy ExtraCare members and all CVS Health employees, it will offer a two-month subscription. Best Buy will also be offering a 6 month free subscription for anyone buying an Apple Watch series 3 starting at $199 or series 6 starting at $399. [Make sure to read the fine print to see if you can stack these offers if you’re an Aetna member].
Fitness+ is Apple’s attempt to gamify fitness and compete with new market competitors such as Peloton, Zwift, and others. What sets Fitness+ apart is that it is built for Apple watch by displaying real time vitals such as heart rate and oxygen saturation as well as other metrics such as calories burned during a workout.
"Keeping people engaged and motivated on their path to better health is at the core of our business, which is why we are extending our collaboration with Apple to offer special access to Fitness+ through all the ways we connect with customers," said Jonathan Mayhew, Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer for CVS Health.
As a reminder, CVS Health has been active in pursuing a chunk of the multi-trillion dollar healthcare industry with its ambitious goal of installing 1500 HealthHubs, which will include MinuteClinic for basic primary care and at least 20% of its store will be dedicated to selling medical equipment and supplies.
Not only is offering access to fitness classes a no-brainer for a health insurance company, CVS Health is actually one of the first to do so. Other insurance companies, including Aetna, have in the past offered rewards programs or a ‘wellness’ app to incentivize its members to take more steps or eat a healthier diet. Instead, what we should be seeing more of are partnerships with existing gamified fitness programs. Gamified is emphasized because while 20% of the population (about 65 million people) have gym memberships, more than 50% quit within 6 months of joining a gym. Additionally, the average gym goer has an income of more than $75,000 relative to the average US income of about $63,000.