WBD News Flash: Weekly industry highlights 12/17/18

Welcome to the WBD News Flash, your weekly highlight of HR benefits and healthcare news. Weekly, we will provide you with the top trending industry news stories in healthcare, human resources, legislation, benefits technology and administration, and more. Make the WBD News Flash your go to reference for current events!

In Grandma’s Stocking: An Apple Watch To Monitor Falls, Track Heart Rhythms

For more than a decade, the latest Apple products have been the annual must-have holiday gift for the tech-savvy. That raises the question: Is the newest Apple Watch on your list — either to give or receive — this year?

When Apple unveiled its latest model in September — the Series 4, which starts at $399 — it was clear it was expanding its target audience. This Apple Watch includes new features designed to detect falls and heart problems. With descriptions like “part guardian, part guru” and “designed to improve your health … and powerful enough to protect it,” the tech giant signaled its move toward preventive health and a much wider demographic.

New insurance guidelines would undermine rules of the Affordable Care Act

The Trump administration is urging states to tear down pillars of the Affordable Care Act, demolishing a basic rule that federal insurance subsidies can be used only by people buying health plans in marketplaces created under the law.

According to advice issued Thursday by federal health officials, states should be free to re­define the use of those subsidies, which began in 2014. They represent the first help the government ever has offered middle-class consumers to afford monthly premiums for private insurance.

Seniors Steamed Over Cuts To SilverSneakers Fitness Program

John Garland Graves was taken aback when he walked into his McKinleyville, Calif., gym in October and learned that his SilverSneakers membership was being canceled. Since 2014, Graves, 69, has enjoyed free access to the gym through SilverSneakers, the nation’s best-known fitness program for seniors. He was disturbed by the news, as are many other people who have recently learned they’re losing this benefit.