Staying Safe While Getting the Care You Need
Safe and easy access to healthcare in Colorado is very important during the Coronavirus outbreak. But in many ways, it is more challenging during this pandemic to get medical care, advice, and treatment than any time in recent memory.
Every trip from home during the COVID-19 pandemic feels fraught with risk. The thought of sitting in a crowded waiting room full of people with unknown illnesses is never appealing, but now it may seem like you’re taking a chance with your life.
This pandemic makes access to telehealth services – the ability to consult with a physician remotely – more critical than ever. Fortunately, most group health insurance companies in Colorado recognize the need for alternatives to in-person physician visits when appropriate. And for a current update on COVID-19 and employee health benefits, read here.
Additionally, Colorado, like many other states, recently modified telehealth laws and regulations to expand the ability of patients and healthcare providers to use these services during the current crisis. As the April 1, 2020, Executive Order signed by Gov. Polis states:
“To protect the public health and mitigate exposure to and the spread of COVID-19, Colorado health care providers… must be able to use telehealth services whenever possible. These services, including low-cost telephone, internet, audio-only, and live video, are widely available and accessible to health care providers and patients.”
Your Group Plan For Healthcare in Colorado Likely Covers Telehealth Services
If you have a group health plan, now is the time to look at your plan documents to see what telehealth services your plan covers and makes available. There are three features for remote access to healthcare in Colorado that most plans offer: virtual visits, chat lines, and DispatchHealth visits.
Most health plan providers offer online visits with a physician, and many group health insurance plans cover online visits at no cost. For many common health issues, these virtual visits provide a safe alternative to a trip to the emergency room, walk-in clinic, or primary care doctor’s office.
You can get a preliminary diagnosis, treatment plan, and prescriptions through virtual visits for conditions such as pink eye, strep throat, rashes, stomach issues, and allergic reactions. Of course, for serious health problems or for matters that your physician feels they cannot address virtually, you may still need an in-person visit.
Similarly, medical chatlines offer patients the opportunity to ask questions and get answers from a doctor, nurse, or other practitioners from the comfort of home. These chatlines resemble those you see on other websites, essentially “instant messaging” between you and a licensed healthcare provider. Many Colorado insurers cover – and actually encourage – the use of chatlines, and may cover the costs at 100%. You should check your plan’s Summary Of Benefits and Coverage to learn how your insurer treats medical chatlines.
As noted, telemedicine, chatlines, or virtual visits are not suitable for all medical conditions. If you require an in-person appointment with a Colorado healthcare provider, DispatchHealth is a program that brings healthcare practitioners directly to your home.
You can request care via the DispatchHealth app on their website, or on a quick phone call. DispatchHealth will then send board-certified medical teams to you, equipped with all the tools necessary for your treatment. Coming to you spares you the inconvenience, worry, and risks of visiting a doctor’s office, emergency room, or Urgent Care clinic.
Almost all of the major insurance carriers have a contract with DispatchHealth, and it may be part of your plan for healthcare in Colorado. The cost of using DispatchHealth will most likely be the same as an Urgent Care copayment.
There are numerous Urgent Care locations in Colorado Springs and most cities along the Front Range that can address most minor conditions if the at-home options described above aren’t feasible. Most group health insurance plans cover visits for Urgent Care with a copayment or apply any costs towards your plan deductible.
Ensuring That You Have Healthcare in Colorado During These Uncertain Times
We know that the Coronavirus pandemic is an unsettling and uncertain time. Preferred Insurance, an experienced Colorado Springs business health insurance broker, is here to answer your questions and provide solutions that can keep you and your Colorado workforce safe and healthy. We are a locally owned and operated group health insurance broker that offers free quotes in less than 48 hours.
Call Preferred Insurance to schedule a free consultation about your small business health insurance needs.