What is telemedicine, anyway? Imagine never having to leave your couch or workplace to see a doctor. Imagine skipping the long lines in the waiting room.
When you’re sick, you want medical attention fast. That is what telemedicine helps to provide. In a nutshell, telemedicine provides you the ability to video chat or talk via phone or computer with a doctor or other health care provider virtually. Other names for telemedicine include telehealth, digital medicine, or even e-health.
Is it expensive? No! Most medical insurance plans feature very low ($10 or $15) – sometimes even $0 copays – for these virtual visits. This compares to the typical copay at physical doctor’s office of $30 or more per visit. You can even use your FSA or HSA debit card for these types of visits and pay right within the app itself.
Not only is telemedicine quick, convenient, and cost-effective, but you’re typically able to see a variety of healthcare provider types. For example, you can choose whether you’d like to be treated by a nurse practitioner, physician, or even a licensed therapist. All providers are licensed and trained to provide quality healthcare and advice. They even have the ability to send a prescription to your local pharmacy, if needed.
What types of illness does it cover? Telemedicine is obviously for more minor types of health issues. Examples include colds, skin infections, therapy, prescription management, urinary tract infections, stomach aches, and more. For the more serious health issues, sometimes seeing a physical still may be the way to go.
How do you get started? It’s best to ask your health insurance company (or HR department or broker) for the name of the mobile app or website you can use for telemedicine visits. Next, you’ll create a login, enter few payment details, answer a few health questions, and you’re on your way to getting care in a quick, convenient, and affordable way.
Providers see a future where telehealth is the primary source of care in our country and insurance plans should be reflecting this. New programs are emerging on a regular basis in the world of Employee Benefits Insurance so if you are interested in learning more about how you and your employees can benefit from these types of services, please connect with us here.