IHF Plans to Cover Virtual Visits
With a growing number of health plans now covering “virtual” visits, telemedicine is fast becoming the modern equivalent of the old-fashioned house call. During a virtual visit, a patient can see and talk with a doctor from his or her cell phone, tablet or computer without an appointment. Most visits take about 10-15 minutes; doctors can write prescriptions, if needed, that a patient can then pick up at a local pharmacy. Beginning January 1, 2016, the International Health Fund (IHF) will cover virtual visits for IHF participants.
Virtual visits are best suited for non-emergency medical conditions such as urinary tract or bladder infections; bronchitis; colds or flu; fever; pink eye; sinus problems and dozens more. They can be especially helpful when a patient’s doctor is not available or when someone becomes ill while traveling or is considering visiting a hospital emergency room for a non-emergency health condition.
Virtual visits are not a good choice for complex or chronic conditions or injuries requiring bandaging or sprains/ broken bones.
IHF members can Log in to myuhc.com® and choose from provider sites to register for a virtual visit. After registering and requesting a visit, you will pay your portion of the service costs according to your medical plan, and then enter a virtual waiting room. During your visit you will be able to talk to a doctor about your health concerns, symptoms and treatment options. If your Local does not participate in the IHF, check with your Local Plan’s Benefits Administrator to see if virtual visits are covered under your plan.