Fitbit, BCBS team up to discount device prices for members

By Laura Lovett
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Buying a Fitbit is now cheaper for some Blue Cross Blue Shield members, following a deal between the major payer and wearable company. 

The deal gives members special rates on Fitbit devices if they purchase through the Blue365 portal. It will also let employers buy Fitbit devices at a bulk or subsidized rate for their employees. According to the insurer, 60 million members are eligible for the program, which includes trackers and watches.

“There is no question that increasing activity and moving more is a tremendous benefit that can improve health, and I’m excited Blue365 members will have even more incentives to get and remain healthy by exercising at a pace that’s right for them,” Mark Talluto, vice president of strategy and analytics for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), said in a statement. “This strategic partnership will bring personalized health and wellbeing to the next level, allowing members to put their health first.”

Additionally, the payer promises that members will have ways of bundling their purchase with other offers like a gym membership through Blue365. 

Fitbits have been a long time go-to for employee health programs. The company's employee customers include York Life, Sharp Healthcare, Humana, and Castlight. 

“Fitbit provides a powerful platform to engage consumers by offering data, insights and guidance to help them meet their health goals,” Adam Pellegrini, general manager of Fitbit Health Solutions, said in a statement. “This partnership is an example of how Fitbit is expanding access to our devices and software so that we can help more people focus on their health and wellness and achieve better health outcomes.”

It has been a good season for Fitbit. Recently, the company held its quarterly earnings call, reporting a positive trend. Despite the fact the wearable giant continues to operate at a loss, the Q2 earnings call revealed that the Fitbit’s downward revenue and device sales trend was lessened by the success of its Versa smartwatch, which the company said has outsold all Samsung, Garmin, and Fossil’s smartwatches in North America combined. 

However, its recent launches haven’t been with out their critics. Along with the release of the Versa, the company announced a new feature that would allow women to track their menstrual cycles. Recently the app has come under fire for limiting the number of days that women can enter their period for.