Virtual Visits Availability Expanding in 2016
Virtual connectivity has become commonplace in today’s on-the-go world as hundreds of millions of people use websites and apps to book appointments, video chat and manage their daily lives.1These practices also have started to become part of the health care landscape.
Earlier this year UnitedHealthcare announced coverage for virtual care provider visits would be available to some self-funded customers in 2015. Additional plans for expansion in 2016 include upon renewal, self-funded customers and fully insured customers when we have approval from your state’s regulatory body.
The network of virtual care provider groups offers video-based visits that allow members to see and speak with a doctor using secure, online, real-time audio and video technology via mobile phone, tablet or computer 24 hours a day. Members can obtain a diagnosis and any necessary prescriptions for minor medical needs including allergies, sinus and bladder infections, bronchitis and other conditions.
The ability to leverage and enable virtual visits is designed to improve access to critical health services whether at home or on the go, and may also help members save time and money. There is also no added cost to you for offering virtual visits to your employees and their covered dependents.
The cost of a video-based virtual visit is approximately $40 and provides significant savings when compared to costs for similar minor medical needs treated at a doctor’s office ($80), urgent care facility ($160) or emergency room ($650). Plan participants pay a portion of the cost for the virtual visit, subject to deductibles, copays and out-of-pocket expenses based on their specific benefit plan.
Virtual visits provider groups and additional details about how the program works can be accessed through our member website, myuhc.com®, or our award-winning mobile app, UnitedHealthcare Health4Me®.
Communication Tools to Promote Virtual Visits
Several virtual visits program communication tools such as email templates, print materials and an overview video have been developed you to use with your employees at open enrollment or as you prepare to introduce virtual visits as a treatment option.
For more information, please contact your UnitedHealthcare representative.