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Wearable Tech

Apple reportedly working to bring Watch to seniors with private Medicare plans

People over 65 would then use the Watch as a health tracker, according to CNBC.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple is reportedly working with private Medicare health plans to subsidize the Apple Watch for seniors.

The company has been speaking with at least three Medicare plan providers to find ways to subsidize the price of the watch, CNBC reported Wednesday. At-risk seniors could reportedly use the Watch as a health tracker. 

Medicare health plans are offered by private health insurers that receive government payouts for providing services to seniors. One type is called a Medicare Advantage plan, in which 19 million seniors enrolled, CNBC said.

The Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $279. The Series 4 starts at $399, and includes fall detection and an FDA-cleared EKG feature that warns wearers about abnormal heart rhythms. These features could be especially beneficial for older users. 

There haven't been any official deals yet, people familiar with the matter told CNBC. Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Apple has previously worked with other insurers such as UnitedHealthcare, which last year launched a program offering free Apple Watches to those who meet certain walking goals. In 2017, it was reported that Aetna was in talks to offer millions more subsidized Apple Watches.

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Apple Watch Series 4 GPS (40mm silver aluminum case, white sport band)
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