A true emergency: the cost of non-emergency ER visits.
Sometimes, getting to the doctor can feel like a superhuman effort, whether due to time or transportation constraints or just feeling too lousy to leave the house. And many North Carolinians live in rural areas where there is limited access to health care.
These are real problems, because they can cause people to skip the care they need, potentially leading to more serious, costly illnesses and missed workdays. In fact, workers with individual or family health problems cost U.S. employers $225.8 billion each year—$1,685 per employee—in lost productivity.1
Fortunately, there is a common solution: telehealth.
Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, offers the convenience of virtual visits, enabling patients to meet with their primary care doctor or certain specialists on their devices 24/7. Blue Cross NC has covered telemedicine visits since the medical community first started experimenting with this new technology in the 1990s.
Today, Blue Cross NC covers 50+ types of telemedicine visits to address some of the services that North Carolinians need the most. Prices are flat fees or are similar out-of-pocket costs as regular office visits.
As health care costs continue to rise and Blue Cross NC is moving away from simply paying for every test and procedure in favor of focusing on care that improves patient health, telemedicine may be just what the doctor, the patient and the insurer ordered to increase value for everyone.