July 09, 2020
I recently visited an urgent care center due to a sore throat and cough that wouldn’t go away. A few days later, I still couldn’t shake the symptoms and needed relief fast. The problem? My primary care physician wasn’t available because it was 11 p.m. So, I decided to try out my health insurance plan’s telemedicine benefit.
I had never used it before, but I felt like it was the perfect opportunity to try it out. Luckily, I had already registered my account, so all I had to do was list my symptoms. I also uploaded a throat selfie so the doctor could take a look.
I chose to have the next available doctor call me instead of waiting on hold. I received a call back in no time. You also have the option to video chat with the doctor or just talk to them on the phone. I chose to talk to the doctor on the phone.
The doctor I spoke with diagnosed my symptoms and prescribed me an antibiotic and a cough suppressant.
While I was on the phone with him, I remembered that the pharmacy I registered my account with wasn’t open 24/7, so while still on the phone, I changed my pharmacy to one that was open 24/7 but still close to my home. As soon as I hung up, I got a call from the pharmacy that my prescription • was ready. When I went to pick up my prescription, the cough suppressant wasn’t there. Luckily, I was able to text the doctor I had just spoken with and he called it in quickly! I picked up my antibiotic and cough suppressant, headed back home, took my medicine, and went to bed. In the morning, I felt significantly better and made my way into work.
All in all, my experience with telemedicine only took about 15 minutes!
Telemedicine is a great resource when you are dealing with minor illnesses or conditions such as:
• The common cold
• The flu
• Ear problems
• Insect bites/rash
• Pink eye
If you’ve never used telemedicine before, it’s helpful to know what to expect. On a telemedicine call, providers can:
• Diagnose your condition
• Provide a treatment plan
• Prescribe medications
• Diagnose children
• Send notes to your PCP
As a telemedicine patient, you can:
• Upload photos of rashes and other symptoms
• Schedule an appointment and ask a provider to call you back instead of waiting on the phone
I have a high-deductible health plan, so telemedicine is a convenient and affordable option for me. I find that the biggest hurdle is remembering you have the benefit available to you! I recommend registering your telemedicine account ahead of time so that when you need to use it, it’s ready to go.
Telemedicine is a safe, secure, and convenient way to access immediate care in the comfort of your own home or office. You could even call on your lunch break if you can’t get in to see your PCP. I hope my experience has encouraged you to give telemedicine a shot the next time you’re in a pinch for care. Once you try it out, I think you’ll be impressed with the quality and convenience.
This article was originally published on IBX Insights.
Tara joined Independence Blue Cross in 2005 and has 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. In 2012, Tara joined the Broker Care Center, a dedicated service area assisting large consultant firms. She moved into a sales role as an Account Support Representative in 2015. In 2017, Tara was promoted to an Associate Account Executive and continues to support large local and national clients.