How many of us are familiar with this scenario? It’s midnight on a Friday night and our child wanders into our bedroom crying with sharp ear pain or wakes up Sunday morning with their eyes very red and almost glued shut with symptoms that look suspiciously like Pink Eye. What do we do? Our options are typically limited and all relatively expensive, especially with health insurance deductibles on the rise now that the Affordable Care Act has set in. A trip to the ER or Urgent Care After Hours can take hours and will most likely cost hundreds of dollars. What if we had a better choice? What if we were a member of a plan where we could call, text, or video chat with a doctor right from our home for very little money and very little wait time? This type of remote access to healthcare is beginning to gain interest and popularity among employers. Some are referring to this telemedicine or telehealth trend as “Anytime, Anywhere Healthcare.”
With the increasing busyness and complicated schedules and lives of most of America’s employees, an old-fashioned visit to the doctor’s office does not easily fit into work schedules or medical needs simply happen after hours or on the weekends. Many employers and the insurance carriers themselves are beginning to see the need for a health plan options that save both time and money. Telemedicine offerings fit that bill. Telemedicine provides remote or digital access to care that’s provided in an efficient, timely and cost-effective manner compared to the traditional delivery systems.
Studies show that up to 80% of doctors visits could be handled by telemedicine. The following common conditions can be treated through a telemedicine program:
- Common cough, sinus, cold and flu symptoms
- Sprains, soreness, strains
- Rashes, allergies, etc.
- Cuts, abrasions and other minor injuries
- Urinary symptoms
- Red/itchy eyes
- General medicine questions
- Basic prescriptions
Right now most of these plans are offered through private third-party physician groups. Our agency can connect you with a company that represents one of these groups for a quote if you would like more information on pricing and options. We also represent Rocky Mountain Health Plans and this particular insurance carrier currently includes this coverage and benefit as part of their plan offerings. On your health insurance renewal we can get you a quote with RMH if you are interested. Our agency believes that in the coming years we can expect to see more insurance providers offering this convenient benefit and type of program.