Posted in Insurance

3 Metrics Your Value-Based Care Provider Is Striving to Improve

Do. Or do not. There is no try. Yoda’s advice may be a little black and white, but it gets to the heart of why value-based reimbursement puts such a focus on health care outcome measures.

As payers increasingly negotiate value-based care contracts with providers, these measures help ensure that providers deliver high-quality care to your employees in efficient, cost-effective ways. And providers have every reason to hit their marks — not just because patient health is tantamount, but because a portion of their potential payment is tied to their performance. Here’s how it all goes down.

Measuring Value-Based Care

Providers are assessed on various quality measures, but the two most important ones are process and outcomes. Process measures can record how many times a service was performed for a targeted population, such as the number of people with diabetes who have their blood pressure tested, how many women over 45 receive breast cancer screenings or even how often — and how well — clinicians wash their hands.

Outcome metrics, on the other hand, gauge results, such as what a doctor’s surgery-induced mortality rate looks like or whether a patient picked up an infection in the hospital. Providers generally report these health care outcome measures to payers, including Medicare and commercial insurers. Payers use these metrics to provide bonuses to or impose penalties on providers.

Process measures are an important first step, but it’s outcomes that make the difference in improving care and controlling costs. There are hundreds of health care outcome metrics, but that’s a lot to keep track of. These three categories are among those most worth your attention.

1. Patient Safety

Safety-of-care outcome measures cover avoidable medical errors. A landmark 2016 BMJ study concluded that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Dozens of metrics fall under the safety rubric, including the rate of surgical complications and skin breakdowns. For example, a skin breakdown — a bedsore, for instance — occurs when pressure decreases blood flow to the skin. It’s almost totally preventable, and it often happens when a patient isn’t moved enough. Providers can use skin assessment tools to evaluate safety measures and ultimately reduce the risk.

Another aspect of patient safety is medication safety. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy estimated the cost of prescription drug-related morbidity and mortality at $528.4 billion each year and noted that the problem isn’t due to patients skipping their medicine. Instead, it found a larger problem of “nonoptimized” medication therapy.

2. Avoidable Readmissions

Each year, between $25 and $45 billion goes toward avoidable complications and unnecessary hospital readmissions. That said, this trend is on the decline, in large part because of metrics associated with Medicare’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. Under the program, hospitals face penalties of up to 3 percent of Medicare’s reimbursement if they have higher-than-expected unplanned 30-day readmission rates. In 2018, hospitals lost more than $500 million in potential revenue.

Before the program began, hospitals received the same amount of money regardless of how their patients fared after discharge. If you’re cynical, you might point out that a readmission — even a totally avoidable one — was financially advantageous: Hospitals would be paid again for the second hospital stay. Now, it’s a financial drain.

National data from as recent as 2015 indicates that readmission rates have decreased for both Medicare patients and those with Medicaid or private insurance. This suggests that hospitals and health systems are making significant changes, not only to avoid the penalties but also to improve overall quality of care. The first conditions covered by the penalties were heart failure, heart attacks and pneumonia. That’s since expanded to include several others, including hip and knee replacements and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The specifics are still being refined, but readmission penalties in some form are here to stay. Private insurers often take a cue from Medicare, and there’s no exception here, with some rewarding hospitals that reduce readmissions.

3. Patient Experience

Don’t confuse this with patient satisfaction. Patient experience surveys ask about elements like patient-clinician communication, patients’ understanding of medication instructions and the efficiency of the discharge process. Research suggests that good patient experience often correlates with better care.

This information comes directly from the patient, family or caregiver — it’s not filtered through the provider. The most common patient-experience surveys are in the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) family of surveys. Some CAHPS surveys are specific to a condition or provider type, but they all have the same general purpose: to assess patient-provider communication, the hospital’s environment and the discharge process.

The Right Tool Is Not Enough

It may be helpful to think of outcome metrics as an evaluation of how providers use the tools they have. Process measures are important because they assess whether providers are using the right tools, but that can’t be the final measure. The right tool is useless if it’s not used properly. What really matters, ultimately, is that outcomes improve, and that only happens when these tools are used to create positive change and show the benefits of value-based care.

This brings us back to Yoda. You know, initially, that trying is important. That’s why process measures are a good place to start. But ultimately, it comes to the result: Do or do not. And that’s something that can only be measured by outcomes — your employees’ health. Visit with an online doctor from the comfort of your home and get expert advice, a treatment plan and a prescription if needed.

Posted in Insurance

Supporting the Health of Employees in Low-Income Areas

As health care costs continue to rise, securing and maintaining affordable health insurance for low-income adults and families has become a greater challenge. And the lack of access to low-income health insurance can have dire effects: U.S. News & World Report writes that one study found up to a 15-year difference in life expectancy between America’s richest and poorest citizens.

For employers to help, they must understand the health obstacles that residents of low-income areas face as well as what steps are available to help close the gap.

Barriers to Good Health in Low-Income Areas

Though the Affordable Care Act set out to improve access to health insurance for low-income adults, health care nonprofit foundation the Commonwealth Fund has found that high costs and the lack of subsidies in certain states contribute to the continuing health disparity. In fact, whether low-income patients are insured or not, they’re more likely to neglect care because tight budgets mean they can’t afford to pay for doctors’ visits or prescription medications, especially when costs like rent may be more pressing.

Even if they do want to seek out care, residents of low-income areas may face reduced access to care facilities and providers. The National Rural Health Association notes that there are only 13.1 physicians for every 10,000 people in rural areas, while the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the number of hospitals in major U.S. cities has dropped by almost 50 percent. And the problem only compounds if low-income individuals fail — by choice or by necessity — to take advantage of preventive care like screenings and immunizations, putting them at risk for more critical and expensive conditions down the line. Those who work in jobs without paid medical leave may also have a harder time making and keeping care appointments.

The potential chronic stress caused not only by these health risks specifically but also by financial worry in general can compound the issue, leading to unhealthy behaviors like smoking or taking a toll on the body and mind more directly.

Residents of low-income areas also face unique quality-of-life challenges, including limited access to exercise spaces outdoors or at affordable gyms and inadequate options for purchasing healthy food. The unavailability of high-quality food makes obesity another primary health concern for low-income areas, as the Food Research & Action Center reports: “Disparities in food access find that neighborhood residents with better access to supermarkets and limited access to convenience stores tend to have healthier diets and reduced risk for obesity.”

How to Support Employees in Low-Income Areas

Employees who live in low-income areas and struggle to take full advantage of their health insurance don’t suffer in a vacuum. Higher rates of illness can cause employers’ health care costs to rise, and the loss of productivity from absenteeism and presenteeism can be a blow to the bottom line.

To help address these issues, consider taking some or all of the following steps.

  • Build the right health plan. To offer effective low-income health insurance, look for plan options that speak to the particular problems mentioned above, including strong mental health services and telemedicine options that can connect patients to providers more conveniently and less expensively.
  • Offer useful tools. If your employees are trying to keep monthly premiums down by participating in a high-deductible health plan, make sure they have access to a health savings account to help them save.
  • Educate your employees. Instructional programs on financial wellness and health and well-being can give your employees both crucial information and the motivation to take proactive steps toward healthy choices. Teach your employees to be savvy health care consumers by encouraging them to review all costs before scheduling procedures and to ask about less-expensive alternatives like generic medication over name-brand prescriptions or therapies over surgeries.
  • Accommodate health care needs. Give your employees the time they need to take care of their health, whether that’s keeping doctors’ appointments or exercising during the workday. If possible, consider making healthy choices easier by bringing them into the workplace — for example by stocking healthy snack alternatives or organizing voluntary on-site health checkups.

The Commonwealth Fund noted that many low-income adults distrust medical providers and the wider health care system, so supporting your low-income employees starts with making a sincere effort to understand their challenges and show that you care.

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Posted in Insurance

Dialing Into Mental Health: How (and Why) Telemedicine Works

As telehealth benefits for minor injuries or illnesses continue to become a staple of strong company benefits packages, there’s one other area of care that deserves to go digital: mental health services.

Obstacles to Mental Health Care

Telemedicine is a natural fit for the challenges of addressing mental health. Consider everything an employee needs to do to receive care for a mental health issue, something roughly 1 in 5 adults struggles with each year:

  • First, they have to search for therapists or other providers who are both within their insurance network and accepting new patients — often a tricky combo to find.
  • Then, they have to wait for that first appointment, which could be days or even weeks in the future, while their symptoms may be getting progressively worse.
  • On the day of their appointment, they have to take time off work to travel to the appointment, wait in the lobby, finish their session and come all the way back.

It can be a complex and burdensome process, making it so hard for people to get the help they need that some of just give up on treatment altogether.

How Telemedicine Services Can Help

Enter telemedicine, a confidential and convenient route to care. Already, about 58% of major hospitals in the U.S. have already brought in virtual health to support mental health services.

There are many reasons why these emerging digital solutions can be so attractive for employees in need of mental health support:

  1. They’re convenient. An estimated 16% of Americans live at least 30 miles from a hospital — and if they’re that remote, their options for potential mental health providers may be even more limited. But telehealth benefits don’t just help those in rural areas. Anyone can benefit from being able to receive care without the hassle of traveling to and from appointments, taking time off of work or finding child care.
  2. They’re cost-effective. By and large, out-of-network therapists cost more. But for people with specialized needs or those who live in areas without mental health providers, going out of network may be their only option. Telemedicine empowers them to track down in-network providers with flat-rate pricing to keep costs under control.
  3. They’re quick. Some employees may tirelessly search for the perfect in-network therapist, only to learn that, in large part due to nationwide shortages, their soonest availability is weeks out. Thanks to built-in efficiencies of telemedicine, though, scheduling doesn’t have to be so gridlocked. LiveHealth Online therapists, for example, can be seen within days.
  4. They’re confidential. Of course, all providers are. But it’s oddly comforting to speak with your therapist within the privacy of your own home or other space rather than driving to a busy office where you may see others in the lobby — or even run into someone you know. With many people forgoing care because of the stigma still attached to mental health problems, this is an important factor.

Is Telehealth Right for Everybody?

These benefits make a compelling case for offering telemedicine, but keep in mind that some employees may still prefer seeing a professional in person. That’s why it’s important to enhance, rather than replace, mental health benefits with telemedicine solutions. The goal should be to break down barriers wherever they appear so that employees can get the care they need.

With so many U.S. workers struggling in silence, it’s important to give them opportunities to speak to someone who can help. Whether they do so over a phone or in person — or maybe both — is up to them. They just need to know that someone, somewhere, is there to listen. If you want to know more about the private health insurance then please contact your virtual care provider .

Posted in Medicare

5 Steps for Picking a Medicare Plan

For most of us, making the move from private, employer-provided health insurance to Medicare is a daunting task. First, there’s the new lexicon: Medicare Advantage, Part B, Part D, Medigap – what do they mean? Then there’s the fear: “The Medicare decisions you’re about to make will affect your health care and out-of-pocket costs for the rest of your life,” says the Medicare information organization 65 Incorporated.

Yikes – that’s a lot of pressure! Take a deep breath, because with some research and careful consideration, you can find a Medicare plan that works for you. Here are the steps you should take to make the right choice.

1. Check your timing. “Timing is one of most important decisions a person can make,” says Diane Omdahl, co-founder and president of 65 Incorporated. Many people need to enroll during the Initial Enrollment Period, which is the seven months surrounding one’s 65th birthday – including the three months before, your birthday month and the four months after. Patients may be responsible for late penalties and lapses in coverage if they don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, which allows you to enroll outside your 65th birthday window or during open enrollment, for unplanned events like losing a job and associated health insurance coverage.

But for those still working, there’s often no need to enroll. “There is a perception that you must enroll when you turn 65. That is true except with people still covered by an employer plan,” Omdahl says. Federal law says that commercial insurance can be the primary carrier over Medicare. “People working at 65 or past 65, that population makes the most of the mistakes with enrollment,” she says.

For those already enrolled, the open enrollment period, which runs from Oct. 15 until Dec. 7 each year, is the best time to consider switching plans or adding coverage.

2. Learn about your options. There are two types of Medicare plans: Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. According to, Original Medicare is a government-provided, fee-for-service plan that is made up of two parts: Part A is hospital insurance and Part B is medical insurance. After you pay a deductible, Medicare pays its share of the approved amount, and you pay your share through coinsurance and/or deductibles. Prescription drug coverage requires signing up for Medicare Part D, with an additional premium. There are also supplemental policies, known as Medigap policies, which can cover certain benefits not covered by parts A and B, such as vision and dental care.

Medicare Advantage is a plan offered by a private insurance company that contracts with Medicare. These plans include Part A and Part B coverage, and may be set up as an HMO, PPO, fee-for-service or other type of plan. They typically include prescription drug coverage and may offer vision, dental and other services.

3. Look closely at prescription drug coverage. A 2012 study of Medicare beneficiaries found that only about 5 percent of seniors chose the least expensive Medicare prescription drug plan. Seniors overspent on Part D premiums and prescription drugs by an average of $368 a year. The study found that many beneficiaries paid higher premiums for plan features that they didn’t actually need.

When researching plans, keep all your current medications handy. “I find that when people call us, they often don’t have their medication names, dosages or frequencies,” says Tatiana Fassieux, a consultant with California Health Advocates, a Medicare advocacy organization. And every year, plans change what drugs fall into which payment tiers and which pharmacies they work with to offer the best prices. Check your plan’s formulary carefully each year to see what may have changed. also has excellent price comparison tools.

“Don’t be complacent,” Fassieux says. “If a person doesn’t proactively review prescription drug coverage, in the end it can cost them hundreds if not thousands of dollars.”

4. Pick your plan. “If you are new to Medicare, your first decision is a simple fork in the road,” says Andrew Shea, vice president of Medicare products at eHealth. com. “Do you want Original Medicare or an Advantage plan? They are very different plans. Each has pros and cons.”

Of course, monthly premium is one important factor when choosing a plan. But there is much more to it than that, according to 65 Incorporated:

  • Other costs: What are the out-of-pocket costs, like copays and deductibles?
  • Coverage: Is there coverage for all your physicians, medications and required services?
  • Quality: How does Medicare rate the plan, in terms of customer service, fairness of appeals and other important factors?

The best way to wade through these differences is to work with a Medicare expert. “Our strong belief is you need to work with someone who understands senior insurance really well and can help you weigh the pros and cons,” Shea says. “You don’t want a jack of all trades who sells you home and auto insurance and, oh by the way, also has medical insurance if you want it.”

5. Enroll. If you are new to Medicare, you first need to enroll.

Next, decide who you want to work with to choose your plan – an insurance agent or broker, or the insurance company directly. The premiums are set by Medicare and do not change regardless of who you work with.

Check the chip guidelines carefully before exploring the CHIP programs, this will help you to find best plans for your child.

Posted in News

How to Take Advantage of Financial Technology

Fintech can help make handling money easier, but be aware of potential pitfalls.

Advancing technology has quickly worked its way into our portfolios and (mobile) wallets. Given the plethora of mobile banking services and budgeting and investing apps, you likely have at least one financial tool at your fingertips right now. Indeed, financial technology is growing at a healthy clip, with a whopping $112 billion invested in the space in 2018, according to an industry report from consulting firm KPMG.

What Is Financial Technology?

In many ways, the rise of digitizing and automating money matters is a positive movement in that it can help people improve their financial pictures. “What is financial technology?” says Jason Raznick, founder and CEO of Benzinga, a financial news and data outlet that annually hosts its Global Fintech Awards to celebrate innovation in the financial technology space. “It’s making the banking system work better for you and helping consumers live a better life. Before, some of these tools were just for hedge funds, and now we’re giving them to the average Joe.”

How Does Fintech Work?

Indeed, some fintech helps make investing more accessible. While you might think you need a fortune to invest, some apps, including Acorns, Robinhood and Stash, allow you to get started with as little as $5. And continuing to invest can be as easy as making everyday purchases. With the financial app Acorns, for example, you connect your account with a bank account, and every time you swipe your linked credit or debit cards, Acorns automatically rounds up the layout and moves your change out of your checking and into a brokerage account, which is then invested into select exchange-traded funds. “With Acorns, we didn’t try to convince people that they should invest. We think a lot of people know they should invest, should save, but those are big decisions to make,” says Jeff Cruttenden, co-founder of Acorns. So his app simplifies the process and allows people to shrink investing decisions to fit into their daily lives.

Acorns costs start at $1 a month. Robinhood is free, including no fees for stock and options trading. Stash Beginner costs $1 month. That makes them all more cost-effective than traditional banks and brokerage houses, an especially attractive feature for newer investors who are just starting to build their fortunes.

Fintech can be empowering, too. For women specifically, fintech helps level the playing field. “There is a great deal of research that says women find that the traditional investing industry feels unwelcoming to them,” says Sallie Krawcheck, founder of digital financial adviser Ellevest, which focuses on serving female clients. So working with a robo adviser or other digital tool can be more approachable. “Women can explore it in their time,” Krawcheck says.

What Are the Downsides of Fintech?

But fintech does have a downside. First of all, sharing your personal information, as is necessary when using most tech services, always comes with some risk of identity theft. “The idea of convenience and seamless interaction being prioritized over more robust security and authentication and verification is a conversation we’ve been having for a long time,” says Eva Velasquez, CEO and president of the nonprofit organization Identity Theft Resource Center. She notes that if people were more willing to accept spending a little more time verifying their identities when using certain financial services, for example, companies would be able to focus more on security rather than ease of use. “We really want to see a cultural shift of people’s expectations,” she says.

You can start making that shift by being selective about what companies you work with and what financial apps you use. Before downloading a new app and trying a new service, you want to be sure you’re working with legitimate companies that prioritize your security. Raznick recommends using referrals from friends, testing out a service with a small investment before moving more money into it, checking that you’re visiting a secure site (the URL should start with “https://”) and even calling a company to make sure it’s for real. You can also check his site, Benzinga, for ratings and reviews of fintech companies. “People in general are more lazy today,” Raznick says. “They want one-click access, an easy button, but you have to be secure, too.”

Convenience can be a problem for fintech users in another way: When it’s easier to spend money, it’s easier to overspend it, too. In fact, a 2018 study from the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at the George Washington University School of Business found that fintech activities such as using smartphones to make payments and track expenses “are not linked to better financial management; those who use mobile payments are more likely to overdraw their checking account, and those who use their smartphone to track spending are not doing better in this regard than those who do not.” That is not to say that using mobile payment apps leads to bad financial choices. But having easier access to spending certainly doesn’t help people who may already have trouble controlling their budgets.

“There are a lot of areas in which fintech can help and provide information, and perhaps even solutions, to some personal finance problems people are struggling with,” says GFLEC founder Annamaria Lusardi. “But there is a risk: If people are not financially literate, their use of technology might not help. That’s why I really think that technology is not a substitute for financial literacy. It should be a complement. Now that we live in a digital world, it is even more important to be financially literate.”

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Posted in Insurance

How to Avoid Medicare Scams

Don’t fall for these schemes designed to steal your personal or credit card information.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services began mailing out new Medicare cards in April. The new Medicare cards contain a unique Medicare number instead of Social Security numbers, a change that is intended to prevent identity theft. However, scammers are launching fraud schemes to take advantage of the Medicare card replacement program. Here are some of the new Medicare scams to watch out for:

A processing fee. One scheme involves callers who pretend to be Medicare representatives and ask for a processing fee or other immediate credit card payment before a new Medicare card will be sent. “In recent weeks we have had more than a dozen West Virginia consumers report receiving scam calls related to Medicare,” says West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. “The culprits pose as Medicare representatives in hopes of gaining access to Social Security numbers, bank account information and other personal data. Some also may seek payment for the consumer’s newly issued Medicare card.”

However, there is no charge for the new Medicare cards, and they will be automatically mailed to all existing Medicare beneficiaries between April 2018 and April 2019. “These cards are free of charge,” says Sandy Morales, a project manager for California Health Advocates. “There will be no personal calls from Medicare about the card.”

A March 2018 AARP and Alan Newman Research survey of 800 adults age 65 and older found that most older people (60 percent) say they aren’t sure whether Medicare will charge new beneficiaries a processing fee for the card, which could make them susceptible to the scam. The majority of the seniors surveyed admit that they are concerned about being the target of a Medicare scam (60 percent) or a victim of identity theft (74 percent).

A temporary card. Callers claiming to be from Medicare are asking older people to purchase a temporary card for between $5 and $50, Morales says. However, you don’t need a temporary card. You can continue to use your existing Medicare card until December 31, 2019. Your medical benefits are the same, regardless of which card you use. You can view which states are currently receiving new cards at and sign up to receive an alert when cards will be mailed to your state. “Scammers often react to what is in the news, so they are likely mentioning the new Medicare cards as a way of hooking their potential victims,” says Katherine Hutt, a spokesperson for the Council of Better Business Bureaus, which has received 63 Medicare complaints in the first five months of 2018, compared to 82 in all of 2017.

Verifying personal information. You might receive calls asking you to verify your Social Security number, address or other personal information before a new Medicare card will be sent. This is a ploy to convince you to disclose personal information. Medicare will not be calling individual beneficiaries to check personal data. “People should beware of anyone who contacts them about their new Medicare card because Medicare will never ask you to give personal or private information to get your new Medicare card,” says Lisa Weintraub Schifferle, an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission. “The new Medicare cards will be mailed to you automatically, and there won’t be any changes to your benefits.”

The new card was lost. Another version of the scam involves a caller saying that there is a problem with your new Medicare card, such as the card being lost or someone else tried to use it. Supposedly to resolve the situation, you could be asked for personal information or payment. However, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reports that it will take a year to mail out new cards to all beneficiaries, and doesn’t expect to complete the process until April 2019. Those who reside in Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Tennessee and the Virgin Islands will be among the last to receive the new cards.

A request to mail in your old card. Some scammers are asking retirees to mail in their old Medicare card. However, you should not give your old card to anyone else, because it contains your Social Security number. Instead, once you receive your new Medicare card, the old card should be destroyed in such a way that your Social Security number is no longer visible. “You should shred your old Medicare card because it has your Social Security number out there,” Schifferle says. “You don’t want your old card floating around with your Social Security number on it.”

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Posted in Medicare

4 Ways Telemedicine Is Improving Access to Care

Thanks to improvements in telemedicine technology, it’s easier than ever for patients to receive medical advice without going to the hospital or doctor’s office. Not only does this help cut costs and make health care more convenient, it’s also providing health care access for patients who might not have been able to see a doctor in the past.

Here are four ways Americans are receiving better care thanks to telemedicine benefits.

1. Rural Areas

In rural areas, the closest hospital or doctor could be hours away. According to CNN, nearly 16 percent of Americans live 30 miles or more from a hospital. Before telemedicine, if someone in these remote areas needed care, that usually meant taking time off work, a long drive and maybe even an overnight stay. It also meant a long delay before they received medical attention — especially if the inconvenience made them put off making the trip.

Today, people in rural areas can speak with a medical provider almost immediately. This is particularly helpful when the patient isn’t sure whether they really need care or not, since they can talk to a doctor about whether they should drive to the hospital, rather than trying to use their own best judgment.

2. Specialists

Even people who live close to a hospital can have trouble getting the care they need. Hospitals don’t always have every type of medical specialist or lab available. If a patient has a relatively uncommon condition needing specialty treatment, that could also mean a long trip to another hospital.

Now people can easily reach out to a specialist via telemedicine. Your employees potentially have access to providers across the country and aren’t limited to what’s available in their local area. And if they want a second opinion from another specialist, it’s much easier to contact one. They can also schedule appointments more quickly, as they won’t be waiting on the one local specialist, who might have limited availability.

3. Comfort and Privacy

With telemedicine, it’s easier for patients to maintain their privacy. Someone might be uncomfortable seeing the local town doctor, for instance, because they know each other personally. It can also help people who are concerned about discrimination. For example, NPR reports that 22 percent of transgender people have skipped medical care because they fear discrimination. With telemedicine benefits, patients can be more comfortable reaching out to providers, at the same time making sure the discussion stays private.

4. Mental Health

Issues of comfort and privacy, as well as access to specialists, play into mental health care, too — and this is another area where telemedicine can provide a benefit. Whether because of the stigma around mental health issues, financial insecurity or lack of knowledge, most people don’t seek treatment for depression. We’ve all heard of telephone hotlines, but these days your employees can meet over video with their choice of trained mental health professional.

In addition to connecting patients with doctors, services like Live fearless Online provide affordable, hassle-free access to psychologists and psychiatrists who can help your employees manage a range of mental health issues, from stress and relationship conflict to anxiety and depression. With support only a few clicks away, your employees may be more likely take that crucial first step.

At the end of the day, if your employees don’t have convenient health care access, they may delay getting help or skip treatment altogether. This increases the chance that they will develop a more serious and expensive health problem later. Find out what telemedicine options your insurance plan offers and educate your employees on how to take advantage of them.