Combining Telemedicine with your High Deductible Health Plan
Its driving down the cost of care!
In the face of ever rising costs for health insurance premiums, more and more people find themselves enrolling in High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) as a way to reduce their benefits cost. This results in increased exposure for out-of-pocket risk related to meeting these higher deductibles. Unlike traditional health plans, most HDHPs don’t offer the flat dollar copays with which people are accustomed. It is both shocking and financially burdensome to suddenly find yourself paying full price for health care services. A troubling side effect of this is that individuals may not seek appropriate care for fear of the out-of-pocket expenses they’ll face.
One way in which people are averting the higher out of pocket costs without compromising their health is through the use of Telemedicine programs. You may have heard of Telemedicine, the use of electronic communication to exchange medical information either from patient to physician or between doctors. Did you know that in addition to helping to solve health care access problems, it’s also driving down the cost of care?
While Telemedicine is not new, advances in technologies and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) focus on efficient and cost-effective care have helped reshape this approach to health care delivery. Telemedicine now does more than just connect remote patients to medical providers. Today, Telemedicine puts any subscriber in touch with a U.S. board-certified physician in their state to treat common ailments such as colds and flu, sinus infections, allergies, pink eye, etc. Telemedicine gives the patient direct access to a doctor 24/7/365. The consultation can take place by a phone call, email or a web-based video call, and may include discussing symptoms, treatment options and prescriptions. Telemedicine consultations are a supplement for non-emergency treatment and visits to a primary care physician. And best of all, Telemedicine helps make health care fast and affordable.
Unlike an urgent care center, doctor’s office, or emergency room, there is no waiting for an appointment in a room full of other sick people. Telemedicine has been found to be an efficient route to care – 93% of patients find their issues were resolved with a virtual doctor visit. 1When appropriate, the consulting doctor can prescribe a medication and send the prescription to the patient’s preferred pharmacy electronically. This program can often eliminate visits to a primary care doctor, urgent care center or ER and the high costs associated with those visits which can save the consumers a significant amount of time, money and frustration.
While Telemedicine can’t be used to treat all conditions and isn’t supposed to fully replace your primary care physician, it’s an extremely useful tool in receiving care related to common or seasonal illnesses that can be easily diagnosed.
Compared to the average office or urgent care visit, Telemedicine is a fraction of the cost. The cost of the actual consultation can be FREE with program pricing from just $9-$15 per month.
Ohio Health Benefits has partnered with the Telemedicine provider HealthiestYou.
Give us a call to schedule a meeting to discuss the benefits, costs and anticipated savings with a Telemedicine program or visit our website at: www.ohiohealthbenefits.net.