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Employers want to continue offering innovative benefits to attract and retain great employees. However, with more and more of the budget being used up by the medical plan, many are turning to voluntary offerings to make up the difference.

A voluntary strategy allows the employee to purchase services they feel suit them best, and this is usually a good approach. But it’s important to make telehealth part of the conversation.

What is it?

Telehealth is the ability to visit with a board-certified physician via phone or video, with the doctor being able to write a prescription, if medically necessary.

If you’re not already including telehealth as part of your basic plan, you should be. And here are three reasons why:

1.) It solves many issues in today’s medical plans

Medical insurance rates and claims are increasing exponentially. Telehealth redirects unnecessary (and expensive!) emergency room, urgent care, and primary care office visits away from the health plan. Having a doctor on hand 24/7 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. While the price for employers is relatively small (Many telehealth options are under $10 PEPM), the savings is big.

It’s estimated that telehealth results in hundreds of dollars of savings per visit. Groups that have a strong rollout and ongoing education about their telehealth benefit will quickly see how this strategy more than pays for itself.

3.) It’s a relatively new concept

The voluntary benefit approach typically only results in election from employees who already understand a particular benefit and are confident they’ll use it. And while telehealth is quickly gaining in popularity, many are still unaware of the benefits or the potential for savings. Because of this, many employees may not elect the benefit even though it could be a big win on many levels. In fact, one Towers Watson study concluded that telehealth could potentially deliver more than $6 billion a year in savings to companies.

As a cost-conscience employer who cares about your employees, it’s important for you to provide telehealth as a great cost-saving strategy for you and your staff. If you merely toss it out as an additional offering, the service won’t realize its full potential— and you won’t see the rewards.


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