Employees want benefits that allow them to invest in their overall health and wellbeing. One benefit that younger employees especially appreciate, and that is continuing to grow into 2023 and beyond, is telehealth.
What is telehealth?
Telehealth, or telemedicine, lets employees receive high-quality medical care from the comfort of their own homes. While it is not a replacement for urgent care or emergency medicine, it is an option for people who want fast, convenient, and affordable care for injuries and illnesses.
Two years after the start of the pandemic, there has been an almost 11% increase in the use of telehealth services. In another survey, nearly 45% of people reported using some form of telehealth, whether from a mobile app, a subscription service (such as a mail-order pharmacy), or a computer via telehealth software. Also, the use among young adults ages 18-34 remains high, with 61% using telehealth services.
If you have telehealth services or are considering offering them as part of your benefits package, how can you engage younger employees and inform them about telehealth?
Let them know of the convenience of telehealth
More than 70% of younger generations prefer telehealth because of its convenience, with 44% of Gen Z and Millennials saying they may switch healthcare providers if they don't continue to offer telehealth.
Telehealth doesn't tether employees to any one healthcare provider, and they will have 24/7 access to resources and providers so they can be informed, stay on top of their health, and schedule appointments that best suit their schedule. They can talk to a doctor within minutes instead of driving and waiting in a doctor's office. Depending on their symptoms, they may be referred to urgent care or the emergency room, but the convenience of accessing health care whenever they need to can be an attractive option.
Continually communicate the benefits of telehealth
Did you know that 40% of workplace injuries can be assessed virtually? This means when employees use telehealth, they can get treated faster, stay healthier, and return to work sooner. Communicate about your telehealth benefits by giving examples of how it can be used in easy-to-understand language, such as "If you wake up sick and cannot come into work, here are the steps you can take to get treatment." This way, employees will understand exactly how your telehealth benefits work.
Address underlying privacy concerns
Since telehealth takes place on a digital platform or mobile app, employees may have privacy concerns and wonder if their personal and medical information will stay private. Telehealth communications between people and their telehealth professionals should all be HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant and secure. Verify with your particular provider so you can confidently share the security message with your employees.
Discuss how telehealth can improve access to healthcare
If some of your employees live in rural or remote areas, they may not have many options for healthcare providers, or the nearest doctor's office may be too far for them to conveniently drive to. Telehealth can enable your employees to receive the care they need, no matter where they're located.
Mention safety and social distancing
Employees may still be concerned about COVID long after the pandemic stops. Telehealth services allow social distancing by preventing in-office interactions and potential exposure to COVID and other illnesses such as the flu. This knowledge can ease their minds and give them a sense of security.
Meet employees where they are
As an employer, supporting your younger employees and letting them know you have their backs regarding their physical and mental health demonstrates your commitment to their wellbeing. By offering them telehealth and conveying the benefits of telehealth, you let them put their health first and give them peace of mind to get the care they need anytime and anywhere.
Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners
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