Is Telemedicine the Right Choice for Your Family?
By: Donna Pleis
Considering the high cost of healthcare today, an unplanned visit to the doctor’s office can definitely put an unwelcome strain on your family’s budget. Even with health insurance, chances are you have high deductibles and co-payments to meet, before any benefits are paid, leaving you with full financial responsibility for many of these office visits.
But thanks to advances in electronic technology and innovations in clinical- health services, you may be able to forgo the costly office visit and communicate with your doctor via your phone, commuter, or other mobile device. Although, before deciding if telemedicine is a good fit for your family, you’ll want to consider the pros and cons.
- Telemedicine can save you time when you have a busy schedule or can’t take time away from your job for doctor’s visits.
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses are significantly reduced when you use telemedicine for uncomplicated medical issues or chronic conditions.
- If you are home bound, live in an isolated area, or have no means of transportation, telemedicine allows you or a visiting nurse to communicate vital signs and readings, such as electrocardiograms, blood pressures, and glucose levels to your doctor or a key monitoring station.
- Simple questions, you may want to ask your doctor, can be easily answered by sending an email or through videoconferencing with your doctor’s office.
- You can easily access your health information through your cell phone, computer, or tablet.
- An electronic health- record system gives you and your doctor immediate access to all your medical records, which can be vital in times of health emergencies.
- Primary care physicians can quickly transfer your lab results, x-rays, and other medical information to specialists or other doctors for consultations and second opinions.
- Telemedicine applications comply with HIPAA privacy and security rules.
- Your health condition may be one that after a telemedicine communication will still require a doctor’s visit for direct observation of your symptoms.
- Depending on where you are communicating from, you may not have the same level of privacy as in your doctor’s office.
- Internet connections can be disrupted due to power outages or inclement weather.
- Online information can be compromised, or because of privacy regulations, the transfer of certain health information may be limited.
- Older individuals may not have the necessary equipment or technical savvy as younger people.
Telemedicine Benefit Plans
While telemedicine is a trend that is growing in popularity, among healthcare providers and patients, not all insurance plans are covering these services. And when offered, services are often limited and subject to deductibles and/or hefty co-payments. A pay-per-use plan is an option that doesn’t require a monthly membership fee, but you’ll be charged every time you use the service.
With an average cost of $40 per use, a family who has a stretch of frequent illnesses could be paying out $200 or more in just one month.
However, there is a telemedicine option that gives you and your family unlimited, free consultations for one low monthly fee of $19.95. With Call a Doctor Plus (CADR+) offered through My Generation Benefits, you will have no deductibles to meet, and you can choose a doctor from a nationwide network of board-certified physicians and healthcare providers. You’ll also be accessing the best telemedicine technology through your computer, or mobile devices.
Why wait days for a doctor’s appointment, spend valuable time in a waiting room with sick people, or pay for unnecessary doctor’s visits, when the care you need may just be a phone call away. Click on the right to sign up for Call a Doctor Plus and start saving on health care today.