Group Benefit Plans with Online Doctor Visits and Prescriptions
Three Canadian insurance carriers are ahead of the curve – making group benefit plans with online doctor visits and prescriptions available to companies with as few as 2 employees. Employers can now elect to upgrade their plans and include access to healthcare professionals 24/7. So employees and their families may get a diagnosis, prescriptions, specialist or lab referrals – online – from the comfort of their own home or workplace.
What are the benefits to the employer and/or the employees? Not surprisingly, a BC study showed significant benefits among patients who chose an online physician visit over an in-person visit:
- 87% did not miss work
- 57% did not need to visit a doctor in person at all
How much does it cost to add online healthcare to your group benefits plan?
The rates range from as little as $2/single employee to as much as $12 and depend on group size, insurance carrier and your province of residence.
Can an employer add this service at no cost?
Yes and No. Through a plan review with one of our consultants at Brightin, you maybe able to generate savings without a change in insurance carriers or benefits. Employers can allocate those savings to this service or another benefit. If your group plan is not set up optimally, savings can be significant. If you would like to book a free consultation, please fill out our group form on the sidebar. Alternatively, CLICK HERE and for our Quote/Consultation Request Form with a list of all complimentary services we offer.
What if your existing plan is not with one of the three insurance carriers who offer this service? At Brightin, we have access to ”direct providers” so any client of ours can get direct access irrelevant of their group insurance carrier.
Our question at Brightin Benefits:
Why are group benefit plans with online doctor visits and prescriptions not free?
Most likely, it is because the infrastructure is costly to setup. However, as we see more insurance carriers entering the market, it may become free with savings for all parties involved: the healthcare system, employers, plan members, and medical professionals. For that reason alone, we expect to have this service available through all insurance carriers shortly.
Because of the significant savings to our struggling Canadian healthcare system, perhaps the days when we visit our doctors on screen and have our prescriptions mailed within the hour are not that far away.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT…
Imagine the benefits! By having doctor visits and prescriptions available online, 57% of patients will not make a trip to the doctor so we will need 50% less walk-in clinics.
With such invaluable benefits,
- Significant savings to our healthcare system because we will not need walk-in clinic real estate space. There will be no utility bills and better overhead efficiency.
- Virtual employment opportunities in the medical field will allow for more flexibility, more efficient use of our medical professionals’ time, and a safer working environment.
- More environmentally friendly, reduced number of commuters and no paper files.
Did you know that for example in England, the United Kingdom there are no walk-in clinics?
So how do people get timely access to medical care? They call in and speak to a nurse who is licensed to prescribe medications over the phone and only if there is something more serious, would they refer a patient to a medical doctor. You are not able to see a doctor prior to speaking to a nurse unless there is a medical emergency. Now, in Canada only licensed practitioner nurses may prescribe only certain kinds of medications. That however, still provides lower cost alternatives.
But does this online interaction leave more room for errors and misdiagnosis?
England is not the only country which has discovered the benefits of telemedicine. The largest health network in the United States has been using technology for this purpose for years now. They have now released data on findings from their 110million physician visits. 52% of these visits were conducted via online portals. The data clearly showed that there were no increases in misdiagnosis when comparing virtual to in-person physician visits. In fact, there was a decrease in malpractice claims as well as increase in patient satisfaction.
***DISCLAIMER: Products and services in the insurer marketplace is ever changing! We appreciate and thank any feedback and updates from our readers! If you have any feedback on the topic of group benefit plans with online doctor visits and prescriptions, please comment below.