Telehealth: care anytime, anywhere

At Tufts Health Plan, we’re using virtual care to expand access for people in underserved areas. To help busy working parents in urban and suburban areas. Or people without reliable transportation. To make it more convenient and more affordable to see a doctor.

Our Commercial Products division now offers a telehealth solution for all fully insured members, and as an option for our self-insured groups. Through the user-friendly Teladoc app, members can see a U.S.-based, board-certified provider, including specialists in dermatology and behavioral health, for everything from garden-variety cold symptoms to sinus infections, pink eye or skin rashes. Members can also schedule a video appointment seven days a week to talk to a psychiatrist or psychologist for support with anxiety, depression and other behavioral health issues.

Best of all, there’s no driving, no waiting room and no copay on most plans.

“I did it at home at 8 p.m. in my jammies,” said a member from Rhode Island. “You can choose to do a phone call or video chat. I did a phone call, and he called very quickly, asked me about all my symptoms, prescribed an antibiotic and some home remedies, and that was it. Less than 10 minutes – and the script was at my CVS in the morning.”

Launched in 2018, our telehealth solution makes it easy for members to get the care they need from home. And in January of this year, we opened up access to services while traveling internationally.

“Telehealth is a game-changing technology for our members, providing them access to general medical care from anywhere in the world,” said Jim Gallagher, vice president of marketing and product strategy for Tufts Health Plan commercial products. “We see a real value in this technology for our members, while addressing wait times and lack of access.”

The results speak for themselves. In just over a year, more than 5,300 members have registered for telehealth services – and that continues to grow. “We’re seeing repeat usage of our behavioral health services – many members are using this option as their primary source of therapy – weekly or multiple times in a month,” said Peter Bell, director of commercial product strategy at Tufts Health Plan.

It’s easy. It’s stress-free. It’s affordable. And it’s a big step in the right direction for removing barriers to health care for our members.