Telemedicine Benefits: Advantages for Health Plans


Telemedicine services, which allow doctors to treat patients via live “face-to-face” video through a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or PC, have become increasingly popular in recent years.  Many Michigan hospitals and physicians have implemented technology to provide telemedicine care, such as Spectrum Health, Covenant Healthcare, Lakeland Regional Health System, and Henry Ford Health System.

Here are some of the ways telemedicine enables health benefit plans to deliver convenient, high-quality care to members:

  • Symptoms can be monitored before they escalate into the need for emergency care or hospitalization.
  • Members can stay in their homes.
  • Members have greater access to care wherever they are connected via smartphone, laptop, tablet, or PC, especially members who live in remote areas with limited provider options.
  • Costs are reduced for the member and the plan, with the average cost of a telemedicine visit at around $50, compared to an office visit, urgent care, or the ER.
  • Absenteeism is reduced because a telemedicine visit requires much less time away from work.
  • Members are encouraged to manage their own health and care, especially those with chronic illnesses.

Telemedicine care may be provided by a physician or a non-physician (e.g., physician assistant or nurse practitioner).  Telemedicine visits are intended to treat relatively minor conditions such as cough, cold, allergy, flu, sinusitis, headache/migraines, upper respiratory infections, sore throat, fever, ear pain, urinary problems, pink eye/stye, burns, rashes, or acne.

ASR has partnered with Answer Health on Demand to offer our clients telemedicine benefits for their members.  Answer Health on Demand provides care to employees across the country through their partnership with American Well.

If you have questions about telemedicine benefits, or to learn more about Answer Health on Demand, call ASR Health Benefits at (616) 957-1751 or (800) 968-2449.