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CVS Puts Aetna in Its Place in Apple Watch Announcement

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CVS Health Corp. today emphasized that Aetna is part of CVS Health in an announcement of a new Aetna health tracking program.

Aetna announced that it is setting up the Attain health tracking program, together with Apple and Vitality Group. Aetna health plan enrollees who use the Attain program app to track their health, and take steps to improve their health, may get a chance to earn an Apple Watch, Aetna said.

(Related: Aetna Will Subsidize Apple Watch in First U.S. Insurer Deal)

Aetna will encourage the program enrollees, but not require the enrollees, to share health tracking data with Aetna.

CVS Health promoted the program with a press release with a Boston dateline. The press release had a headline starting, “Aetna Announces Attain,” and text starting, “Aetna, a CVS Health business.”

The logo distributed with the release was the CVS Health logo.

The only Aetna or CVS Health executive quoted in the release was Dr. Alan Lotvin, the executive vice president of transformation at CVS Health. Lotvin has been an executive at CVS Health since 2012.

The Wellness Program

Aetna has been offering its own employees and some customers Apple Watch subsidies since the benefit plan enrollment season for 2017.

Executives at Aetna said at the time that they believed the company was the first large U.S. health insurer to offer a significant discount on Apple Watch devices.

John Hancock, a Boston-based unit of Manulife Financial Corp., began offering life insurance premium discounts for consumers who participated in the Vitality Group wellness program in 2015, and it said in September that it will be building the Vitality program into all new, and in-force, life insurance policies that the company provides.

The Vitality Group is part of Discovery Ltd., the South African-based company that helped bring the personal health account concept to the United States.

CVS Health-Aetna

CVS Health completed its acquisition of Aetna in November.

For life and health agents, one question about the CVS Health-Aetna deal has been how much interest CVS Health will have in Aetna’s experience and brand.

One reason is sentimental: Aetna has been selling life insurance and health insurance since 1853.

Another is practical: How much CVS Health sees the health insurance business as an interesting business in its own right, as opposed to a mechanism for bringing consumers to retail clinics in CVS Health drug stores, could shape the kinds of commercial health insurance products the CVS Health Aetna unit might provide going forward.

— Read CVS and Aetna Face Honeymoon Stresson ThinkAdvisor.

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