More Insurance Coverage For Telemedicine

MORE INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR TELEMEDICINE

By Matthew J. Effken. Telemedicine continues to be a growing part of the healthcare delivery system in the United States. According to the American Telemedicine Association, more than 10 million consumers directly benefited from using telemedicine last year, and a recent Harris Poll survey found that 27 percent consumers would choose telehealth options if they were available.

Now, claims-paying giant United Healthcare is expanding its in-network health insurance coverage to include video-based visits with approved doctors using real time audio and video links. Initially, coverage is limited to self-funded employers, but it will expand to United Healthcare employer-sponsored and individual plan participants in 2016.

Members can video chat directly with a doctor associated with one of three on-line healthcare providers that offer live on-line consultations with physicians via mobile phone, tablets or computer applications. The appeal of this option comes from 24/7 availability and reduced costs. A typical charge for a video consultations is around $50, which is already significantly less expensive that a visit to a doctor’s officer or urgent care facility. As a covered service, the patient cost may be reduced to the amount of the co-pay, making Telemedicine more affordable for more people.

More information is available at the following link:

http://www.uhc.com/news-room/2015-news-release-archive/unitedhealthcare-covers-virtual-care-physician-visits

© 2015 Houghton Vandenack Williams

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