You don't typically expect big perks from discount phone carriers, other than maybe a low price on your monthly bill. But Boost is looking to shake things up by including free access to advice from doctors for anyone who signs up for one of its unlimited data plans.
By doing so, Boost says it's the wireless carrier to offer free health care services to its subscribers. While that may be stretching the definition of health care, it's true that anyone who signs up for Boost's Unlimited Plus plan will be able to use the K Health app on their phone to chat with a doctor, look up symptoms and seek treatment including prescriptions. Boost says these services will be available to both subscribers and their immediate family members.
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In announcing the new perk today (May 4), Boost notes that three out of 10 people lost their health insurance last year, with about half of that number remaining uninsured today. While having your wireless provider instead of your government step in with health services seems vaguely dystopian, at least as far as perks go, access to advice from doctors sure beats free cloud storage or a complimentary streaming service subscription.
Unlimited Plus costs $60 a month at Boost and offers unlimited talk, text and data. After you used 35GB of in a month, your data speeds are slowed for the remainder of the billing cycle. Besides the new health advice benefits through K Health, the Unlimited Plus plan also features 30GB of mobile hotspot data. You can add additional lines to an Unlimited Plus plan for $40 per line each month.
While the health benefit will be baked into the Unlimited Plus plan, it's also available to other Boost customers for an additional fee. If you're on another plan at Boost, you can sign up for a discounted rate of $7.99 per month on top of their regular monthly data plan. K Health memberships regularly cost $9 a month.
The addition of health services to its Unlimited Plus plan is the latest effort by Boost to establish itself as an option to one of the Big Three wireless carriers. A former Sprint subsidiary, Boost got spun off as a separate company now owned by Dish as a condition of last year's T-Mobile-Sprint merger. Boost currently uses T-Mobile's network for its service, but it eventually will be launching its own network, as it tries to establish itself as a viable alternative to the more established wireless providers.
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Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.