Telehealth is a plan benefit that makes it easy to access non-urgent medical care any time of day, 365 days a year, from wherever you are — at home, at work or on the go. You can use a computer, mobile device or phone to talk with doctors in primary care, family medicine and more. They can review your history, answer your questions, diagnose and treat medical conditions and prescribe certain medicines.
Telemedicine is not suitable for emergency care or hands-on procedures such as blood pressure checks or biometric screenings, and it can’t replace the care of your primary doctor. But if you need a doctor’s advice and don’t want to leave your house, telemedicine may be a good option for you.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911.
Telehealth services are available for both everyday care and complex treatment. Non-urgent conditions ranging from colds and allergies to sprains and strains can be treated through virtual visits.
In addition to having a virtual visit with a primary care provider, you can also make telehealth appointments with the following:
Dermatologist — According to Teladoc, you can upload images of your issue for the provider and get a treatment plan and prescription, if needed, for skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes and more.
Pediatrician — For non-urgent treatment of conditions such as the flu, pink eye, rashes and much more, pediatricians are available 24/7.
Therapist or psychiatrist — With telehealth, you can access mental health support from wherever you’re most comfortable.
Specialists — If you have questions about a diagnosis, treatment or the need for surgery, you can meet virtually with medical experts who can help with your specific medical needs.
Registered dietitian — With telemedicine services, you can talk to a registered dietitian by phone or video for help with staying healthy, eating right or managing a health condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
In most cases, doctors can review your medical history, diagnose medical conditions and provide non-urgent medical care through a virtual appointment. You’re also able to consent so that any provider you see virtually can instantly share visit results with your primary care physician.
Who Can Use Telemedicine?
To find out if you’re eligible to use telemedicine under your current insurance plan, call the number on the back of your member ID card. Depending on your plan, you may be eligible for some telemedicine benefits, and you’ll be able to find out ahead of your visit whether you have a copay.
How To Have A Successful Telehealth Visit
If you’re using an app for your appointment, make sure it’s set up and you’re able to log in. You’ll also want to ensure you have a strong signal on your phone or computer before your virtual visit so that you’re able to clearly communicate with your provider.
Most telehealth providers will send you a notification by email or text before your visit is set to begin. It’s recommended to open the app you’re using 10 minutes before the scheduled time of your appointment. Telemedicine providers will have a virtual waiting room where you can check in and let your provider know you’re ready to be seen. When the provider joins, you will automatically be connected.
After your visit, you’ll get a summary of your visit with relevant follow-up information, including any necessary prescriptions. Depending on your pharmacy, you may be able to have a prescription delivered or arrange a no-contact curbside pickup. If you do pick up a prescription in person, make sure to wear a mask and follow the precautions advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About EmblemHealth: This article is brought to you by EmblemHealth, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health insurers, serving more than 3 million people in New York City and the tri-state area. Your safety and health are top priority to EmblemHealth, which is why it remains committed to finding new ways to deliver quality care at affordable prices.
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