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Three reasons to include telehealth in your employee benefits package

Young woman having a video conference with her doctor

The need for telehealth is increasing more quickly than ever

Demand for the remote delivery of physical and behavioral health care, or telehealth, has skyrocketed in recent months. And some health insurance carriers had to quickly adapt by providing valuable virtual options to accommodate their members. This includes access to services like real-time video appointments with physicians and virtual health coaching.

As an employer, it’s important for you to offer a competitive benefits package that provides access to the types of services your employees need and want. Here are three reasons why you should ensure that telehealth is part of your plan offerings.

Reason 1: The demand for telehealth services continues to rise

To some degree, COVID-19 rapidly changed life for everyone. You may have had to help your employees adapt to working at home, while helping others adjust to a very different workplace full of unanticipated challenges. You may have also experienced unanticipated business challenges.

The global pandemic also caused restricted access to in-person health care, triggering nonemergency physicians to seek new ways to connect with their patients to deliver routine care [1]. While there will always be a need for face-to-face contact for certain clinical interactions, telehealth technology can help support these interactions to help dramatically reduce physical contact and associated risks.

Reason 2: Telehealth is critical to your employees’ and company’s health

Offering telehealth is an easy way for you to ensure that your employees have 24/7 access to care and receive a rapid response to their health needs no matter where they are located.

Telehealth can also contribute to reduced health care costs and increased productivity over time. Copayments for telehealth services are usually less than an urgent care or emergency department visit, equating to lower costs for your employees and lower costs for you. This quick access to affordable care also means your employees don’t have to take time away from work, which can reduce your overall absenteeism rate.

Reason 3: Employees are seeking telehealth options in their benefits package

As telehealth continues to evolve, more employees are likely to expect it as part of their benefits package because of the convenience it provides. Telehealth has joined the ranks of online shopping, banking, and other routine activities because it allows people to take care of routine or urgent medical needs when they have the time. Offering a rich benefits package that includes access to telehealth is key in attracting and retaining the top talent needed to help your organization thrive.

UPMC Health Plan’s telehealth and digital health offerings

Not all health insurers have the same level of expertise with developing and deploying telehealth services. If you are choosing between insurers, you should carefully compare their digital offerings.

UPMC Health Plan members have access to exclusive digital health tools and telemedicine to help them manage their health and their health plan, including:

  • UPMC AnywhereCare: For cold and flu symptoms, sinus infections, rashes, and other nonemergency conditions, members and their children can have virtual visits with health care providers right from a tablet, computer, or smartphone—anytime, anywhere. When appropriate, providers can send prescriptions to the member’s preferred pharmacy [2].
  • UPMC physician virtual appointments: Many UPMC Health Plan primary care providers and specialists offer video visits that members can access from the comfort of their home. This capability provides many health and safety benefits across the board, especially during these challenging times.
  • UPMC Health Plan mobile app: This app provides members with convenient, on-the-go access to their health insurance information and wellness resources.
  • Virtual health coaching: UPMC Health Plan members can work with a health coach virtually to manage weight, reduce stress, quit using tobacco, or reach other health and wellness goals.
  • UPMC MyHealth 24/7 Nurse Line: Whether a member has an urgent need after hours or general questions about their symptoms, a UPMC nurse is on the line to assist them day or night.

As you and your employees continue to adapt to a “new normal” work environment, telehealth can help ensure that your employees get the care they need when they need it most, and help you operate your company during this challenging time and beyond.

To learn more about UPMC Health Plan’s telehealth services, contact your producer, visit www.upmchealthplan.com/employers, or call 1-833-825-2696.

Sources:

[1] www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/telehealth.html

[2] The UPMC AnywhereCare service is currently unavailable to Tower Health-UPMC Health Plan members.