The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of telehealth services and the growing demand for its convenience. A FAIR Health report shows a sharp increase in the use of private telehealth insurance claims in the U.S., with a 4,347% jump in March 2020 compared with the previous year. We’ve provided some tips on how employers can promote the convenience of telehealth services, maximize its value and reduce costs.

  1. Make telehealth accessible, or expand access, to employees

WGAT is waiving all copays regardless of diagnosis for doctor visits exclusively through our partner Doctor on Demand. This, of course, includes telehealth visits for COVID-19 screening. WGAT is also expanding telehealth services by making all telemedicine programs “in network.” If the claim pertains to COVID-19 screening, copays and deductibles are waived; if it is any other type of claim, they are subject to copays and deductibles.

  1. Consistently communicate to employees

WGAT is encouraging all of its members to make use of Doctor on Demand, which gives them the peace of mind of seeing a board-certified physician right away through their smart phone, tablet or any desktop computer with a front-facing camera.

According to BenefitsPro, 63% of people report they would like information from their employer about COVID-19 at least daily. Employers should create and share flyers, emails, and direct mail pieces that will help encourage their employees to adopt telehealth services. In the age of COVID-19, social distancing is something we should all be practicing. Communicate to all employees the convenience of telehealth services and tout its 24/7 availability, affordability, and board-certified physicians.

  1. Offer incentives

Sometimes, people just need a little extra motivation. Some employers may want to consider offering employees financial incentives for using telehealth services. One way to do that is offering a $5 gift card to employees who register for telehealth services or who complete their first virtual doctor visit. According to BenefitsPro, this could increase signups by up to 40% when compared to a control group.