Telemedicine/Telehealth and Teladoc® Options
Keep your employees informed about coverage for virtual doctor visits
March 20, 2020
We realize it can be a confusing topic: coverage for telemedicine/telehealth services delivered by a contracted provider vs. Teladoc®, Tufts Health Freedom Plan’s vendor for virtual doctor visits. The following clarifies how we are addressing these services during the coronavirus outbreak.
What is telemedicine and telehealth?
- Telemedicine/telehealth – These terms both apply when a Tufts Health Freedom-contracted provider delivers clinical care or consultation by means of their own telecommunications technology.
This will also apply to members of our self-funded groups that have not opted-out. This applies for all diagnoses and is not specific to COVID-19. This is intended to prevent people from having to leave their house to receive care.
What is Teladoc®?
- Teladoc – This is Tufts Health Freedom Plan’s telehealth vendor. Teladoc enables fully insured members to access U.S.-based, board-certified providers from anywhere in the world by web, app or phone for general medical and behavioral health needs for $0 cost share. For the duration of this crisis there will be no cost share for self-insured members as well – as long as the employer has purchased the service through us and has not opted out of paying for the cost share.
- When a member needs to contact their PCP after hours and the provider’s telemedicine/telehealth service is not available, or they do not have a relationship with a PCP who offers telemedicine/telehealth, then those whose benefits include Teladoc can use this service.
Will a member’s PCP know about their care if they use Teladoc?
Yes. If the member provides Teladoc with the name of their PCP and gives them permission, the Teladoc provider the member speaks to will send a report to the PCP.
Helpful member tips for using Teladoc during the coronavirus outbreak
Teladoc’s wait times are significantly longer than usual at this time due to the high demand for care. To expedite their request for a Teladoc visit, members should:
- Complete their registration and medical history for all family members ahead of time through the Teladoc app or website at thfp.com/Teladoc.
- Request the visit within the app or website and select a “phone session” and “as soon as possible” for the appointment time. (Teladoc has a much larger pool of physicians to handle phone sessions.)
- Keep the phone near them and turn on all notification in the app – phone, text and email – to ensure they do not miss the physician’s call. If they do miss the call, the doctor will try again later before cancelling the visit.