Telehealth Archives - HealthPlanOptionsToday

What Health Insurance Companies Cover Telemedicine?

In the past year or two, Telemedicine has become an increasingly popular way to reduce costs and improve people’s health. Today we’ll discuss how telemedicine is changing the way health insurance works.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is a relatively new concept in healthcare. It has been around for decades but only recently been accepted by state legislatures and private insurance providers.

The definition of telemedicine varies, but it usually refers to remote patient care with technologies like videoconferencing, teleradiology, and broadband internet. For some patients, using these types of technologies means they can get care without having to leave their homes or offices.
Telemedicine services may also allow patients to avoid expensive trips to emergency rooms for non-emergencies.

Does My Health Insurance Cover Telemedicine?

“The COVID-19 pandemic has probably changed the overall acceptance of telemedicine forever.”

Recently, telemedicine has emerged as an increasingly popular alternative to face-to-face visits with doctors. With most forms of medical treatment now covered by insurance plans, consumers have been wondering: what about telemedicine? How much does my health insurance cover for telemedicine visits? Which conditions will my plan cover via video conferencing – if any at all?

It turns out that whether your visit is covered will depend on where you live and your specific plan details. Policies vary from insurer to insurer, but many states now recognize that reducing the use of costly hospital admissions would help payers lower overall healthcare costs.

Coverage for telemedicine in insurance is impacted by laws and insurance company policies. While some are more progressive than others, many state legislatures and private health insurance providers are recognizing how telemedicine can reduce costs and keep people healthier.

The COVID-19 pandemic has probably changed the overall acceptance of telemedicine forever. The majority of states and most of the US territories changed their legislation to allow telemedicine on a temporary basis, and several of these states have kept this legislation permanently.

So before asking whether or which insurance allows telemedicine, it’s worth checking into whether or not your state allows telemedicine in the first place. A complete list by state is here; the list also includes which states have temporary pandemic policies in place. You can also give our health insurance hotline a call for further information.

What Health Insurance Companies Cover Telemedicine and Telehealth Services?

As a result of the pandemic, most major insurance companies- Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Cigna, AETNA, etc.- cover telehealth services as part of their insurance plans. Once again, the availability of services depends on local availability.

How Can I Get Insurance That Includes Telemedicine?

If you would like to get insurance that includes coverage for telemedicine services, or if you’d check whether or not your insurance allows telemedicine, why not talk to one of our experts at our health insurance hotline? They’ll take time to understand your unique situation and will help you understand the available choices that suit your needs. Click the button below to reach out to us, and one of our experts will personally get in touch with you, or just call 855-218-3447 to speak with an expert directly.

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Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels


Upon Which COVID Stands – The Lessons We Have Learned

When the pandemic hit, many were speculative as to how this phenomenon will subtly destroy us. Millions were without food, others without healthcare, and even more so: many suffering from disabilities imposed because of it. However, we neglect to realize how much the world may actually benefit from this caustic tragedy. Think about it: kids have resorted to Zoom sessions in which classes are routinely held virtually; carry-out and delivery services have produced over 200,000 new jobs; telehealth is now being recognized as a convenient manner in which we can now see doctors without ever leaving the house! Though we cannot deny the bad, let us examine the “good.”

  1. Schools are better off. Many complain about the virtual environment schools are now being plagued with, but we fail to realize that this is so new to us that we have yet to adapt to it. In fact, consider the benefits of virtual schooling. Less violence will occur; less bullying will take place; social attitudes and norms are being tested before our very eyes. Though many schools have struggled with this new manner in which our children are taught, this is just the beginning.

    An example comes from a student we worked with on health insurance planning. The school he attended was delivered online, but not in the manner one would think. In fact, it was a virtual world, much like a video game. There were actual characters, booths for career expos, and there was a vast ability to socialize and communicate in a way far surpassing Zoom.

    This, in my opinion, is a step forward for technology.
  2. Carry-out and delivery. It may not seem like such a big deal, but consider the mentality that the “carry-out” or “drop-off” food service runs on. It is much, much more convenient (albeit safer) to have people come out and deliver food to us. We go on an app, pay for our products, and a man or woman comes out and puts the food in our back seats. C’mon, how cool is that?!

    We seem to think to ourselves: “This is to keep us safer,” but in reality it is a step forward for better service. No one likes going to Publix to shop, wait in an aisle, and bag our own groceries. The situation is no different for the Publix staff: they are tipped more for coming out to give us our food, and have less spills to worry about, less clutter, and overall much more calm. Imagine a world where the service industry functions on this mentality!

    It does not seem like much, but once we get better at this, it will be.
  3. Telehealth is upon us. Not many realize that virtual doctoral visits have actually been around for some time. In fact, it was around 2016 that our blog writer encountered the Life Coaching industry, which became exclusively centered around the marginal issue of: “Why treat only those local to us?” In turn, the online movement toward healthcare improved, and when the pandemic hit, this phenomenon grew in size. It is almost routine at this point to go on Zoom, Doxy, or FaceTime to obtain our medical assistance.

    The telehealth industry has grown in size in 2020 with an increase of almost 10 percent. However, it is projected to be worth $266.8 billion by 2026. This is a drastic leap! We must begin to realize that in a technology-run world, even medical issues are being treated by technology. Even before the pandemic, many doctors took to iPads and other embedded computer systems to monitor patient issues, as well as to look up answers to questions (i.e. symptoms or medication interactions) when in doubt.

    What a sincere change.
  4. We are now in touch! We are now in touch with family and friends in a manner far surpassing what we once had. The amount of FaceTime or Zoom calls has increased by tenfold, and we are now in touch with our family and friends so much more than we were pre-pandemic. Furthermore, more adults and Baby Boomers are becoming rather acclimated with programs they did not understand six months ago. Zoom is the best example, which formed in 2010 and has grown substantially since the pandemic.
  5. Safety awareness! Are we now more grateful for our safety? Are we now less likely to avoid sneezing around others? Though the pandemic brought this upon us, it actually made people more aware of the dangers of: standing too close to someone, coughing without covering your mouth, and overall we are beginning to understand the concept of “courtesy” more. Though this may seem like COVID-19’s greatest threat, it is actually humanity’s greatest opportunity to do better at recognizing when others are in trouble.

In fact, the rate of adults actively engaging in safety awareness has risen by 22 percent since the outbreak. We are also now more grateful for our doctors and nurses. I have never once seen so many people saying: “Thank you” to a doctor, an EMT or a nurse. This may actually lead us toward optimistic increases in healthcare spending. Now that we have faced a virus unlike any other, when it is all over we will have conquered something we thought would be too strong to manage or regulate.

In the end, we are not dead, and our fallen brothers and sisters are not held in vain.

I’d like to share with you a quote from Hunter Patch Adams during his defense against privatized medicine:

“What’s wrong with death, sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can’t we treat death with a certain amount of humanity and dignity, and decently, and God forbid, maybe even human. Death is not the enemy, gentlemen. If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight the most terrible diseases of all: indifference…

Tell us if in this past year, we can all agree. If you need help with health insurance, contact us and we can assist. We know health insurance premiums are becoming an issue, so we do encourage you to check out the rest of our site and see how we can help.


The Future of Healthcare May Be Going Virtual

We all thought quietly to ourselves: “COVID is going to destroy the world.” I disagree. I feel that after this is all over, we will feel as if we are more in touch with technology. And the health care industry agrees with me. With what was once called “telehealth,” or when you consult with your doctor about a pressing issue, we all felt weirded out about it. Now, ask yourself: have you attended a doctor’s appointment remotely? If so, you have engaged in telehealth! And that is the future of health care, and health insurance.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the foundation we are building for telehealth literally within the last two and a half months,” said James Roxburgh, of whom is CEO for Banner Telehealth (link). It seems that now, the game is all about online visits, but what comes with this is a change in healthcare infrastructure. The insurance market is going to have to adapt accordingly, and that seems to be where the trouble is.

Will insurance cover telemedicine?

The good news is yes! Though this was not once the case, and may not be a factor at the present moment, the Federal Government has passed on telehealth coverage to Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance companies. However, because this new way of doing things is so new, it may take a few months for people to adapt. According to an August 2020 discussion panel, many are still in flux with telehealth. It is amazing to see that many are actually cancelling their policies in an effort to avoid being exposed.

But we have to learn to embrace change.

 Telemedicine or “telehealth” is basically what we have all been doing for the past six months: visiting with doctors or physicians virtually via FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, or any other means where there is a camera and a microphone involved. However, studies show that 76 percent would much rather risk obtaining the coronavirus than use technology to their advantage. Another source pointed out that many of the elderly cannot quite grasp the technological requirements to engage in this manner of working.

My mother was one such case. She had me tell her how to see her doctor virtually. Turns out it was rather chaotic: a website that exists provides telehealth, yes, but they did not use Zoom or a phone visit. Rather, they required a separate website that required a registration, almost as if this telehealth movement – specifically since the pandemic – has become a monopoly.,, and others are doing nothing different than utilizing a platform such as Zoom and, instead, requiring a much more corporate outlook on things. In other words, they are there for no reason other than that of the doctor, as many choose FaceTime or Zoom (of which even my mom could not use, either).

What do we do from here?

Well, the first step seems to be less focalized around learning to adapt to telehealth, as that was already done for us. Instead, it is about educating Americans how to use these various methods of online visitations without having to rely on me to do it! In other words, we need to be focusing around educating the masses two fundamental challenges: 1) that telehealth is not going away, even after the pandemic ends, and 2) that it is time to embrace this new method of things, as it is a much better alternative.

When you think about it, since telehealth truly formed around 2016, it has had a slow gain in progress. Now, it is everything we have! We cannot go to the doctor because we will infect the patients; we will be exposed to the virus in closed quarters…so on, so forth. Okay, well that is inevitable. Let us focus on the positive: telehealth is ten times less expensive than paying overhead on an office, meaning the doctors in question can actually charge you less each visit because they are sitting in a living room!

Health insurance plans will develop for this new methodology, but we have to be patient and accept that healthcare has changed and, just like how the pacemaker used technology to keep us alive in the event of a heart problem, telehealth is doing a similar thing here. We just need to accept that our lives – from now and until the next pandemic – will be virtualized. It leaves me wondering if we are even ready for this.

Either way, it is time to start educating individuals on how to use the right platforms, and how it benefits more than it hinders. A lot of people feel it is impersonable, and that is okay. Doctors are still helping as much as they can, despite the circumstances. It is time to adapt to the future, and hopefully health insurance plans will begin to do so as well. In fact, we may be adopting a merger with a local company dedicated to teaching us about the benefits of telehealth, as well as how to use it properly (contact me).

Also, considering state laws require insurers to accommodate during the pandemic, we can use this time with telehealth to practice, adapt, and adjust. Soon it will be just as expensive as it was with in-office visits, and yes, you may have to pay a higher premium to go through telehealth platforms at present, but make note that this is not the doctor overcharging you. Rather, it is insurance plans that are trying to keep up so you can only pay a copay and thus, they would inevitably cover you if they had the upcoming policies. Stay strong, stay safe, and remain vigilant. This is not going anywhere soon!