|February 2022||Maximixe your HSA e-Newsletter||Vol. 18, Issue 3|
Your Telehealth Benefits Have Been Upgraded, Probably for Good. Here’s How to Get the Most Out of Telemedicine
For good or ill, the pandemic has changed the face of healthcare in America. Now, two years in, we are starting to see the results. And I’m glad to say, it’s not all bad.
Across the board, online telehealth benefits have seen big improvements. While most of these changes were in direct response to the dangers of the virus, they led to systematic upgrades that not only saved a lot of time, but actually made things less expensive for providers and patients alike.
And you can bet that if it’s saving them money, then it’s not going to go away anytime soon.
Here’s a look at how your plan’s telehealth benefits are better than ever. Then, I’ll offer a few pointers on how you can use telehealth to your advantage to save even more money in 2022.
Telemedicine Is a Shining Example of Value-Based Care
These days, everybody is looking for a way to save a few bucks on healthcare, and rightly so. This nationwide shift to value-based care means that people are looking for medical care that is quick, inexpensive, and effective.
Telehealth is all three of these things. At the same time, it remains a valuable touch-point between you and your doctor. Developing a relationship with your provider has literally never been easier, regardless of whether or not there was a virus to worry about.
Most Commercial Health Plans Have Broadened Telemedicine Services
Here’s a look at how your telemedicine services have likely been improved for good:
- 42 States Require Telemedicine Reimbursement (and counting)
- All major health insurance providers offer some form of free telehealth
- Virtual mental health care is often included, and makes seeking help easier than ever
- Many employers are using telemedicine technology to vastly improve employee wellness programs
- Remote patient monitoring systems for things like blood sugar, blood oxygen level, and blood pressure are becoming much less expensive (and have been linked with more positive health outcomes).
- Payments, appointment bookings, reminders, and even video chats can all be handled directly through your smartphone
- Telehealth is now available with most Health Sharing Plans as well
How to Get the Most Out of Your Telehealth Visit
- Know Your Benefits. Depending on your insurance carrier, there is some variation as far as what types of appointments are covered, and which form of telemedicine (text / phone / video) is utilized.
- Utilize the 24/7 Nurse Line. Unless you’re experiencing a health emergency, your plans 24/7 nurse line is a good place to start for almost any issue. Not only can they advise you on the first steps you need to take, but they can also set up the specialized appointments you might need.
- If There is an App, Download it Now. Digital health apps are becoming more popular, more functional, and easier to use. Many apps can handle every step of your telehealth care, from scheduling to payment and receipt tracking.
- Be Ready for Your Appointments. Good lighting is essential if your doctor is examining something like a wound or rash. Having your current prescriptions can save you time if they ask you dosage details or how much you have left. Quiet, private rooms are always best when sharing medical information.
- Use Telemedicine to Refill Your Prescriptions. There’s no need to make an in-person appointment just to fill a prescription. Many providers can write or renew prescriptions during a telehealth appointment.
- Keep a Written List of Things to Talk to Your Doctor About. It’s easy to forget all the things that you need to talk to your doctor about, especially when you’re in the middle of an appointment. Over the course of the year, make a running list of your questions and concerns so nothing slips through the cracks.
- If You’re in a Group Plan, Take Advantage of Digital Wellness Programs. More and more employers are offering digital wellness programs, where you can take steps to improve your health in exchange for valuable premium reductions. These programs often come in the form of a simple app that can track everything and keep you motivated.
Telehealth Has the Potential to Boost Your Healthcare Freedom
Initially, telemedicine services were reserved for people who had mobility issues, or in the case of COVID, people who couldn’t risk in-person exposure. That’s no longer the case.
Telemedicine is a technology that can increase your access to healthcare. Using your telehealth benefits is a low-cost, low-friction way to keep your health in prime condition. The result is less money spent on healthcare in the long run, and more to spend on you and your family.
To find out more about your plan’s benefits, call your membership number.
Click here to schedule an appointment, or call 800-913-0172 to get started.
To your health and wealth,
Wiley P. Long, III
President - HSA for America
The HSA for America Maximize Your HSA Newsletter is published monthly and emailed to subscribers at no charge. Subscribe now to stay on top of the critical information you need to know about health insurance, healthshare plans and managing your finances to achieve financial security.
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