October 28th, 2020 – Telehealth services are having a moment right now, thanks to 2020. Telehealth services have been around for many years though not all health insurers offered telehealth to clients.
The pandemic changed that all and perhaps forever. With COVID-19 giving many people second thoughts about going to the doctor’s office, fearing risk of infection, telehealth services have moved into the spotlight.
Most major health insurance companies are offering telehealth benefits to customers for the new 2021 plans being rolled out. The services often are free or have a very low copay. Many provide access to primary care doctors, registered nurses, pediatricians and some offer virtual urgent care type services.
People are often surprised at just how much can be accomplished via a telehealth call. Most services allow for prescription refills and some providers can order lab work and imaging for you.
Most telehealth services offer the convenience of being available 24 hours a day, every day. Most offer call in services and others allow Zoom type video conferencing from your computer or via smartphone tablet app, but with more limited hours.
Perhaps the biggest barrier to telehealth services is that many people simply have never tried it. Once you to use it, some people rely on it for the roughly 80% of healthcare needs that can be provided via phone or computer.
It’s wonderful to not have to drive through snow and traffic to the doctor’s office and then wait to be seen. And with the concerns many have about COVID-19, telehealth can potentially make it safer to receive your healthcare from the comfort of your home.
I don’t think it’s farfetched to assume that telehealth is going to become more of a standard as we head into 2021. The fact that people can receive information about their health from the comfort of their homes can’t be overlooked.