With millions of online medical visits performed each year, telehealth (or telemedicine) is one of the fastest growing trends in healthcare. Telehealth benefits employees in several ways – from significant cost-savings compared with in-person visits to faster access to care.
Telehealth also benefits the employers by lowering healthcare costs, reducing time-off from work, and keeping employees and their families healthy and productive.
Increasingly, medium to large businesses are realizing these benefits and expanding the offering of telehealth to employees through their health plans.
To learn how it’s become easier for companies of every size to now offer telehealth as a standalone benefit, keep reading.
Survey Says … Use Telehealth First
Nearly 78 percent of large employers surveyed in the Willis Towers Watson 22nd Annual Best Practices in Health Care Employer Survey recommend that employees use telemedicine as a preferred healthcare delivery option to replace expensive office or clinic visits for routine illnesses.
Telehealth visits for dozens of the most common conditions can reduce costs significantly for employers – especially those who are self-insured. Teladoc for example, determined these savings to be $472 per episode of care.
Telehealth benefits employees, too, with no wait times, lower co-pays and no loss of valuable time at work or home. For uninsured employees who cannot access healthcare benefits, using telehealth as a primary means of care can provide significant savings in out-of-pocket medical expenses and gives them peace of mind.
What About Smaller Employers?
While many medium to large employers are utilizing telehealth options, the vast majority of businesses in the U.S. are small businesses.
Up until recently, it had been nearly impossible to offer telehealth as a standalone benefit. This means that millions of employees — who don’t have telehealth as part of their insurance plan or have no insurance at all, like part-time, contract, freelance and other non-benefit-eligible workforce participants — are paying significantly more out-of-pocket for doctor, urgent care, or emergency department visits.
Fortunately, employers of all sizes can now offer telehealth as a voluntary benefit, reward, perk or as part of a wellness program within the company and to all employees, regardless of their employment or insurance status.
With Virtual Me™, for example, employees can enroll in a telehealth program without the need for an insurance plan or as a complement to one. Enrolling is simple through discounted group rates via an employer who partners with Virtual Me™, or directly through the website.
Access to High-Quality Telehealth for All Employees
Virtual Me™ partnered with industry leader Teladoc to provide anyone direct access to the Teladoc network of more than 7,000 telehealth physicians. Teladoc is the largest provider in the industry with more than 70 million members and over 10 million virtual visits in 2020, achieving 95 percent customer satisfaction.
Hello Alvin also provides access to additional healthcare services, which are included at no extra charge. This means that anyone within your company can have access to a variety of medical care tools, 24/7 from any device.
Top Five Ways Telehealth Benefits Employees
1. Convenient access to care
Employees can simply login in from their phone, tablet or computer at any time and request a medical consult with a Board Certified doctor in as little as 10 minutes. The doctor can diagnose the patient’s symptoms and recommend treatment, which can in include a prescription being delivered to a nearby pharmacy.
2. Broader access to care
Not only can employees have a general medical consultation with a telehealth physician, but they may also be eligible for access to specialty services, including mental and behavioral health, dermatology, smoking cessation, STD screening, second opinion services, and more.
With Virtual Me™, bundled telehealth service also includes access to a 24/7 Nurse Advice Line and the ability to email medical specialists questions 24/7 at no charge.
3. Cost savings
With telehealth visits costing as low as $15 and no more than $45, employees can see significant cost savings versus in-person visits. This is especially true if those visits are to urgent care or emergency departments for minor illnesses, where costs can easily get into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a minor illness.
4. Near zero wait time
With access to providers like Teladoc, patients can simply click to make a consult on their phone, tablet or computer and get a callback or video-chat back from a doctor in less than 10 minutes. Want to speak to a nurse? That typically takes two minutes from your phone. Email a doctor? That is a guaranteed response in 24 hours, but typical responses are within hours (sometimes minutes.)
5. Doing good for all of your employees
With rising health insurance premium costs, increasing deductibles for full-time employees and lack of healthcare options for part-time employees, offering a telehealth option is one way you can help reduce the burden, show you care and make a difference in the lives of all employees.
If you are an employer who wants to learn more about how telehealth benefits employees or you’re an employee who wants access to the benefits of telehealth, contact us for more information by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 844-863-3627.