Telehealth Happening Even Before Pandemic


Telehealth Happening Even Before Pandemic

Smartphones have made everyday living easier. You can check your bank statement, order shoes and reserve a table, all in minutes from the comfort of your home. Here’s one more. Now, you can see a doctor without sitting in a waiting room, touching a sticky magazine or being around sick people.

Telehealth popularity is on the rise—in part due to a pandemic—but also because it was always going to happen. Modern companies in the modern world are trying to find ways to simplify things for people. Telehealth is a way to leverage technology and give people easier access to health care experts.

In a recent survey, the National Business Group on Health found that 94 percent of employers believed that virtual solutions would have a notable impact on the health care delivery system.1

Employees also want simpler, more convenient ways to access care, and they expect their health plan to include virtual solutions. Some employees—data suggests millennials2—may not even seek care if it isn’t available virtually. Putting off care or seeking care in the wrong place (like emergency rooms) is an expensive proposition for employers. Telehealth provides a low-cost, high-quality alternative for their employees.

Even before the pandemic, higher demand, better technology and greater ease of use were driving telehealth’s growth. Telehealth helps employers break down barriers to routine care and reduce employees seeking care in the wrong place.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield has integrated telehealth into its fully insured group coverage. The service boasts board-certified, state-licensed physicians (including pediatricians) and an average wait time of 10 minutes or less. All 24/7/365.

Telehealth can be used for nonemergency conditions including allergies, common cold, fever, flu, pink eye, sore throat and more. Employees pay the normal copay, coinsurance or deductible online at the time of service.

Virtual health care gives employers yet another tool to give their employees convenient access to medical expertise where and when they need it. Visit healthbenefitinsight.com to learn more about trends and topics of interest to employer benefit decision-makers.


1 “2020 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey.” National Business Group on Health: 2019.(Accessed February 2020.)
2 Blue Cross Blue Shield Association National Generation Survey, 2019.