The need for telehealth is obvious these days. However, with more and more of the benefits budget being used up by the medical plan, many turn to voluntary offerings. A voluntary strategy allows the employee to purchase services they feel suit them best, and this is usually a good approach.
But, here are 3 reasons why telehealth should NEVER be a voluntary benefit.
1. It solves many issues in today’s medical plans
Medical insurance rates and claims increase at twice the rate of inflation. Telehealth redirects unnecessary emergency room, urgent care, and primary care office visits away from the health plan. A 24/7 doctor (especially at $0 visit fee) reduces the burden placed on employees by quickly and efficiently resolving 70% of issues that normally result in an in-person visit.
2. It’s a high-value, ROI solution most employers can afford
With the reductions in health plan coverage, telehealth can be an inexpensive addition that delivers real results and savings to employees. Many telehealth options are under $10 PEPM, yet provide hundreds to thousands of savings. It’s estimated that telehealth results in hundreds of dollars of savings per visit. Groups that have a strong rollout and ongoing education of their telehealth benefit quickly realize that this strategy more than pays for itself many times over.
3. It’s a proven concept
As mentioned above, the voluntary approach typically results in election only from employees. With the recent buzz around telehealth, many employees consider it a very necessary service in their benefits package. Because of this, ensuring telehealth is not only offered, but is easy to use, and doesn't cost the employee can be a big win on many levels. But, checking the telehealth box when it's embedded in a health plan is not the best experience for employees either (read this article for more).
As a broker, it's important to be a consultant. Consultants know the value of telehealth and the future of this service delivering way more than basic acute care needs. It’s important to guide the employer to PROVIDE this benefit as a great cost-saving strategy, and not as an OFFERING, where it likely won’t realize its full potential.
Now it’s your turn! How are you approaching telehealth with your groups? Share your experiences by commenting below or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!