Driving down the cost of employee health insurance

It’s a familiar scenario. You sit down with a financial advisor and answer a series of questions about your health. Do you smoke? Drink? Do much exercise?

Past medical histories are, of course, plugged into the equation and, eventually, all the answers are fed into an actuarial chart somewhere and your monthly or annual health insurance premium is spat out.

But the data is, of course, out of date as soon as the form is filled in and whisked away by Royal Mail to an office most likely located in Bracknell, and stored among your insurance company’s records for posterity’s sake.

Imagine, then, being able to affect your ‘score’ by wearing a device that measures your activity levels and fires off the data to a server which instantly rewards you with a lower premium for good behaviour.

It might not yet be available for individuals but a US start-up has ‘disrupted’ the conventional insurance market with an offering that is being taken up by companies who are attempting to drive down on the cost of corporate healthcare benefits.

Jiff allows company employees to earn rewards through its enterprise health benefits platform, simply by adopting a healthier lifestyle as measured, for example, by activity trackers such as Fitbit or Jawbone. The Apple Watch is also due to be added to the list of devices that can interact with the platform.

According to Jiff, which is targeting the self-insured company market in the US, the platform can integrate data from existing telemedicine apps and users can log on via their phones, which will display how many credits they have earned. All of that data helps the company they work for to save money on its employee benefits programme.

Jiff CEO Derek Newell told Fortune.“Our engagement is usually with the head of benefits. … We work with them to determine what behaviors they want to incent or what challenges they want to design into the system.”