icons-10The telemedicine industry is growing according to an article in Workforce Magazine. Rising health care costs are cited as the main reason for the recent change in the industry, especially the high costs of emergency room visits. So, what is telemedicine? Telemedicine can take many forms, but it usually involves doctors speaking to patients using some form of communication technology, such as phone or computer rather than in person. These alternatives to doctor’s office and ER visits are beneficial to patients and doctors because the doctor is able to see many patients quickly and the patient does not need to travel to a health care facility, wait to be seen, and pay an office visit fee.

Most plans have co-pays for telemedicine that are very affordable. While telemedicine is not a solution in every case, some common conditions such as the flu, allergies, bladder infections, sore throats and rashes can be easily diagnosed and treatment prescribed without a doctor ever physically seeing a patient. Telemedicine can also be great while travelling. Many times an individual would have to pay high out of network fees for visiting a doctor while on vacation. If an employee can get treatment from an in-network provider over the phone, they could potentially save a lot of money.

The A Plus Benefits medical plan through EMI Health has a telemedicine program called TeleMed. TeleMed allows employees on the A Plus Benefits medical plan to call and speak with a doctor about a common condition and in many cases even receive a prescription to treat the condition. The total cost of a TeleMed call is significantly lower than a doctor’s office or ER visit and employees will also save time associated with traveling to the doctor and waiting to be seen. The benefit does not add any additional cost to premiums and helps employees save money on routine doctor visits. For more about EMI Health’s TeleMed, click here or contact the Customer Service Department at A Plus Benefits.