By this point, even your grandparents have probably at least somewhat figured out video chat. It was only a matter of time before health care joined in on the trend. Telemedicine benefits allow patients to go to doctors’ appointments without leaving the house — just add it to the list of things you can do in your pajamas.
In short, telemedicine makes accessing health care simpler. It allows people living in rural or hard-to-reach areas to get care instantly and eases the pressure on emergency rooms and urgent care centers when they’re especially busy, like on Thanksgiving day. Unlike doctors’ offices, telemedicine doesn’t have closing hours — you can see a doctor any time, any day.
Telemedicine might seem uncomfortable at first, but a video appointment with a doctor isn’t actually that different from an in-person one. It’s just as confidential, and the doctors are just as qualified as the ones you might visit in person — in fact, they can sometimes be better equipped to treat you, as telemedicine allows you to make appointments with specialists that might normally require a plane trip and a hotel stay.
Some health insurance plans come with a telemedicine benefits option — and if yours doesn’t, you can always buy a separate telemedicine service. With these policies, you pay a small monthly premium to schedule appointments online. Most plans will also charge you something when you make an appointment, but depending on the plan, you could end up paying less altogether for a telemedicine appointment than the copay for a traditional appointment.