Imagine this if you will, you’ve got a full-time time job that requires over-time in order to meet goals, two teenagers who are very active in high-school sports, aging parents that require constant check-ins and help with meal planning, as well as an ill middle-schooler who needs to see the doctor for a painful earache. Your schedule is beyond tight, but you still call the doctor’s office to schedule an appointment. The receptionist answers the phone and states their earliest appointment is 3 weeks down the road. Sound familiar? This, or a similar scenario, are what more and more people are facing when calling the doctor’s office for a one-on-one consultation.
Now more than ever, parents and patients are asking for 24/7/365 access to a doctor and many insurance plans are now offering this service. Trending now are medical insurance plans that allow you to connect to a doctor or therapist 24/7/365 via your personal phone, tablet or computer. This isn’t a Nurse Line, these new plans connect you to a licensed doctor that can consult, diagnose and prescribe any needed medication, as approved by law.
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According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Those treated through a virtual platform did not have higher rates of misdiagnosis or treatment failure,” and a recent study performed by HealthiestYou, an innovative and comprehensive virtual and wellness solution offered by United Healthcare, showed 97% of members who used this type of service said they will use it again. The study goes on to reveal that 95% of patients said they would recommend the service to someone else.
Benefits of virtual visits include access to primary and specialist care where access to such doctors may be limited, i.e., in a rural setting or if one is handicapped and has trouble getting out. Cost savings are another potential benefit. Often a virtual visit is free or at a reduced co-pay amount compared to an in- person doctor visit. Convenience, privacy and security are also viewed as benefits as visits often take place right in the comfort of one’s home or office. Time savings is a huge benefit as well. No need to spend time driving to the doctor’s office or waiting for your name to be called.
The top 9 virtual consultations include treatment for colds/allergies, bronchitis, earaches, sore throats, sinusitis, pink eye, strep throat, upper respiratory infections and urinary tract infections, but doctors can also treat skin problems, depression and anxiety, broken bones, severe burns and more.
The next time you’re contemplating medical insurance, ask Blue Chip Benefits about plans that include 24/7/365 virtual access to doctors.