People covered by Aetna might get a sweet deal on an Apple Watch along with their insurance premium next year. Image: Pexels.

CNBC broke on Monday that Apple and Aetna had held talks last week to bring Apple Watch deals to 23 million customers. Those with healthcare insurance from the company might get a discounted or free device as early as next year, according to sources familiar with the deal.

The secret meetings with the insurance industry represent Cupertino’s latest foray into the health sector. The tech giant is giving the Watch a spin so it can cater even more to fitness enthusiasts, and potentially become an essential gadget for people with chronic diseases.

Apple’s plans don’t benefit just themselves, but also Aetna. Watches distributed under the partnership will almost certainly collect data for the firm, which in turn will help them refine the services they offer to satisfy their customers even further.

Aetna might offer Apple Watch deals in 2018

Aetna, one of the country’s leading insurance companies, might set the wheels in motion for its new plan with Apple as soon as 2018. The play will coincide with the firm’s moving from Hartford, Connecticut to New York City for the first time in more than a century and a half of history.

The scope of the scheme is only expected to expand since Aetna already has a deal in place to subsidize Apple Watches to its 50,000 employees. Some customers who have healthcare coverage from them are also eligible, according to sources, but now the offer will be up for all 23 million of them.

Apple’s deal stands for the United States only, of course, in spite of the fact that Aetna has business overseas as well. Reports say the exclusive meetings between the two industry leaders were also attended by chief medical staff from across the country, which suggests more alliances could be in the cards.

The Apple Watch third generation is sure to get interesting

As noted by several tech outlets, the timing seems just about right to introduce this sort of agreement given that Cupertino is almost surely about to reveal the third-generation Apple Watch in the coming months.

Aside from a couple technical updates that are to be expected, like a new chip and perhaps a better display, the upcoming Apple Watch might also sport a new array of sensors that could unlock its true potential to healthcare partners.

The tech giant is reportedly working on a new set of essential and noninvasive sensors that can track and help patients keep in check some of the harshest medical conditions. Among them, a blood sugar monitor is the most coveted, since it would open a market of more than 100 million diabetic Americans.

Source: CNBC