What is Telehealth?
Also known as telemedicine, telehealth is a growing trend that allows you to have appointments with your provider by phone or video. Telehealth is an easy way to stay on top of your medical needs without having to go into your doctor’s office. While a virtual visit in some cases cannot replace an in-person exam, there are many medical issues that can be treated this way.
Telehealth for Medical Needs
Medical telehealth visits are covered by Well Sense if you use an in-network provider that offers telehealth appointments. Not all providers offer a telehealth option. To find out if your provider offers telehealth appointments, you should call their office and ask.
Telehealth for Behavioral Health Needs
As part of our telehealth benefit, we cover remote psychiatry, mental health counseling, and substance use counseling for our members. There are two ways to use these services.
- Call your existing provider in the Well Sense/Beacon network and ask if they provide telehealth services. This option is preferred if you have an established relationship with a behavioral health provider.
- If you do not have an existing behavioral health provider and prefer telehealth, you may access the Beacon telehealth platform via MDLive. MD Live is an app that you can download to your device. It lets you sign up for telehealth counseling appointments with behavioral health professionals. Learn more and how to sign up for MD Live.
Frequently Asked Questions About Telehealth
+ What technology do I need to have for a telehealth appointment?
A telehealth appointment can either be done by phone or by video. For video appointments you’ll need access to the internet along with a device that has a camera and microphone. For example, you can use a computer, smartphone, or tablet.
+ Do all in-network providers offer telehealth visits?
No, not every provider office has the option of telehealth. To find out if your provider is able to schedule a telehealth appointment you’ll need to contact them directly.
+ How do I make a telehealth appointment?
In most cases, you’ll schedule a telehealth appointment the same way you schedule a regular in person visit to your doctor. The first thing you should do is call your doctor’s office to see if they have telehealth available for their patients. If they do, they’ll let you know what steps to take based on how their office handles telehealth appointments.
+ Do I need to download special software?
For video telehealth visits you may need to download a video chat application onto your device or log into a specific website. Be sure to ask your doctor’s office what you’ll need when you schedule your telehealth visit so you’ll be ready at the time of your appointment.
+ Are all telehealth appointments done by video?
Depending on the reason for your appointment a video call may not be needed. Telehealth appointments can also be done by a regular phone call.
+ What types of medical issues can I make a telehealth appointment for?
Below is a list of just some things that can be discussed or treated during a virtual visit with a doctor.
- Cold and flu symptoms
- Chronic pain
- Skin issues
- Stomach problems
- Minor injuries
- Women and men’s health needs
- Pediatric care
- Medication refills
+ Why should I choose a telehealth appointment?
Telehealth appointments are popular for a number of reasons. The biggest one is that you get to avoid the waiting room! Telehealth can save you time traveling to your appointment and waiting to be seen by a doctor. In some cases, like if you have allergy symptoms for example, it can also help your doctor to treat you faster because you can choose to show them things in your home that may be impacting your health.
+ What kind of information should I have ready for my telehealth appointment?
Much like an in person visit to the doctor, you’ll want to have a list of your medical concerns ready to discuss with them. You also may be asked to share your weight, temperature, or blood pressure if you have the ability to do so.
+ Can I get medications prescribed to me during a virtual visit?
Yes, your doctor is able to prescribe certain medications to you during a telehealth appointment.
+ Do I have to pay a co-pay for a telehealth visit?
No, your plan does not require co-pays for in-person or virtual visits.
+ If my PCP isn’t able to do a telehealth appointment can I make an appointment with an in-network provider that does? Will it be covered?
Yes. We will cover the cost of an in-network provider telehealth visit.
+ Do I need to be alone for my appointment?
Members are allowed to bring companions to the appointment just like you would for an in-person appointment.
+ How secure is my privacy during a telehealth visit?
The software used by our providers may vary. You should always check with your provider’s office if you have concerns. Please note that it is also very important that you conduct your visits in a private, secure location.
+ What type of environment will my doctor be in on a video call?
The type of environment may vary, but providers are required to maintain your privacy.
+ How do I know if something is not normal during a telehealth visit?
We recommend you ask during your call if you have any concerns about how it’s going. Telehealth visits can sometimes include more questions from your doctor than you may be used to from a routine medical visit. This is because they are unable to make a physical assessment of your health in-person. Your doctor is responsible for answering your health questions and this includes how your appointment is handled.