CVS Health To Offer Apple’s New Fitness Service

CVS Health said it will be offering Apple’s new fitness subscription service to clients, health plan members and employees.

A one-year subscription offer for “Apple Fitness Plus” built for the Apple Watch will be available later this year for those who are enrolled in an Aetna commercial health plan or a CVS Caremark prescription plan. CVS Health bought Aetna two years ago and owns the pharmacy benefit manager Caremark and has been working for ways to offer more low-cost health benefits for the more than 20 million Aetna members and employer clients who have their drug benefits managed by CVS.

Apple Fitness Plus “intelligently incorporates metrics from Apple Watch for users to visualize right on their iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, offering a first-of-its-kind personalized workout experience,” CVS said Tuesday afternoon in an announcement. “Everyone from beginners to fitness enthusiasts can access studio-style workouts delivered by inspiring world-class trainers underscored by motivating music from renowned artists, making it easier and more rewarding for users to exercise, whenever and wherever they like.”

CVS Health’s disclosure coincides with a separate announcement by Apple Tuesday unveiling “Fitness+,” which Apple said is the “first fitness experience built for Apple Watch, arriving later this year.” The subscription service offers an array of virtual fitness classes, Apple said during a presentation Tuesday.

Such new services negotiated by CVS are part of the company’s effort to integrate more health benefits for Aetna clients and health plan members given the companies are now largely integrated following their nearly two-year-old merger.

“Keeping people engaged and motivated on their path to better health is at the core of our business, which is why we are extending our collaboration with Apple to offer special access to Apple Fitness Plus through all the ways we connect with customers,” CVS Health Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer Jonathan Mayhew said. “Innovative fitness offerings like Apple Fitness Plus are even more critical as people strive to maintain their health during these challenging times.”

The Apple partnership fits the strategy of CVS Health chief executive officer Larry Merlo to offer more healthcare services.

CVS remains on track with the rollout its new health hub concept to 1,500 stores across the U.S. within the next two years despite the continuing spread of the coronavirus strain Covid-19. CVS paused conversions of some stores into HealthHUB formats in late March as state governments shut down and store construction was forced to slow down for commercial developments across the U.S.

But CVS has said the three-year plan remains on target to have 1,500 HealthHubs by the end of next year. CVS opened 50 HealthHub stores in the U.S. last year and was planning on another 600 to 650 to open in 2020 before the pandemic hit earlier this year.

CVS HealthHubs dedicate more than 20% of the store to health services that include new durable medical equipment, supplies and various new product and service combinations. CVS is adding thousands of new personal care items as well as additional services at its MinuteClinics in the health hub stores. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

Bruce Japsen

 Bruce Japsen

I’ve written about health care for three decades, starting from my native Iowa where I covered the presidential campaign bus rides of Bill and Hillary Clinton through the Hawkeye state talking health reform and the economy. I have covered the rise, fall and rise again of health reform, chronicling national trends as well as the influence of Barack and Michelle Obama from Chicago’s South Side on changes to the U.S. health system from my base in Chicago. I am the author of the book, “Inside Obamacare.” A regular on Forbes on Fox (2014-2018), you can see me on occasion nationally on Fox Business News. In Chicago, you can hear my health segments and business analysis on WBBM News Radio 780 and 105.9 FM. I’ve written for many media outlets, including the New York Times (2011-2013) and was healthcare reporter at the Chicago Tribune (1998-2011). Prior to that, I wrote for Modern Healthcare and several Iowa newspapers including the Des Moines Register. I’m active in education and teach in the University of Iowa School of Journalism MA in Strategic Communication program. I am passionate about health literacy when it comes to explaining the complexities of health care. A better understood health system may save someone some money or their life.

Apple Fitness+ is a new fitness experience for everyone, powered by Apple Watch. Try world-class workouts by the world’s top fitness trainers. Work out anytime, anywhere, and see your personal metrics onscreen in real time.

Find it inside the Fitness app on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. Coming late 2020. Three months free when you buy an Apple Watch. “Go Time” by TYPO.S http://apple.co/TYPOS Learn more at https://www.apple.com/apple-fitness-plus

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