There is a new word on the lips of many doctors and other healthcare professionals in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic – but have you heard of “Telemedicine?”
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, “telemedicine is the practice of using technology to deliver care at a distance, over telecommunications infrastructure between a patient and a physician or other practitioner licensed to practice medicine at a distance.”
With COVID-19 rapidly spreading across New England and throughout the United States, virtual care solutions, like telemedicine, are increasingly being used by healthcare professionals to consult with patients who have only minor symptoms or are not critically ill.
By communicating over technology, like a computer, tablet, or smartphone, patients and physicians are decreasing the chance of spreading the virus or contracting COVID-19. If you choose to engage with your practitioners in this fashion, you will not only be helping to flatten the pandemic curve, but also aiding those on the front lines who need to use their limited and valuable resources for patients with more severe health concerns.
If you are experiencing virus-related symptoms or something equally as serious, then telemedicine may not be the right choice. However, if you are making an appointment to see your doctor for relief from seasonal sinus issues, for example, it may be wise to do this from the comfort of your own home. You will not only be adhering to the recommended social distancing protocols, but also doing your part in the fight to prevent this extremely contagious virus from spreading from person to person.
At Fred C. Church, many of the healthcare insurance providers we work with are offering telemedicine. If you haven’t already signed up for these services with your provider, you can register by searching for your health insurance carrier below and clicking on their program:
These portals will outline the features of each program and provide details about your specific copayment. While payment for virtual visits typically differs significantly by the provider, many of the carriers listed here are removing copayments, deductibles, or coinsurance for COVID-19 testing and treatment for fully-insured members.
Please be aware that you may experience higher than usual wait times and delays in availability due to the current COVID-19 crisis. Whether it’s connecting with a medical professional or adapting to a remote work environment, these days we are all certainly getting a lot of practice in the art of being patient.
As your employee benefits resource, Fred C. Church would highly recommend you register and download the relevant apps now, rather than wait until the moment you need to use the services. In the current environment, having useful tools like these readily available can potentially help you and your family members stay healthier and safer.
Be sure to visit the Fred C. Church COVID-19 Resource Hub where you can find more information about common commercial insurance coverages and how they may respond to a business loss, unique business risks associated with the pandemic, COVID-19-related employee benefits considerations, and other helpful resources.
If you have questions about your provider’s telemedicine options or any other health insurance related question about your plan, please contact your Fred C. Church benefits account manager with any questions about your program.