These days, you really can do anything online — including see a doctor! Telehealth services are a convenient, cost-effective option for treating minor problems or performing routine care for chronic ailments. Most insurance providers will cover telehealth services, and there are affordable options for the uninsured, too.
To make the most of your online doctor visit, make sure the doctor has your insurance information, medications you’re taking, medical history, and the results of any monitoring you’ve been asked to do. You may need to download and learn a new app in order to teleconference with your doctor, or your doctor may prefer to use an app you’re already familiar with. Carve out some private, quiet space to have your appointment, and have your questions and concerns ready to go. Read on to learn about getting medical care online.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
As previously mentioned, most insurance providers are happy to cover telehealth services in the post-COVID world. It saves them money because telemedicine visits use fewer resources. Your insurance provider may even pass the savings on to you in the form of a reduced or eliminated copay for telehealth service.
Book Your Session
Telemedicine platforms like Plushcare are becoming an extremely popular choice for online doctor visits, but you may also be able to get a virtual appointment with your regular doctor.
Of course, if you don’t have insurance and/or don’t have a regular doctor, a telehealth services platform could be the ideal option for getting quality care at a reduced cost.
To book a virtual telehealth session with your regular doctor, call his or her office and ask if telehealth services are offered. Doctors are increasingly using online appointments to continue to provide patient care even when elective procedures are being cancelled and hospitals are struggling with high numbers of patients. You might be surprised to learn that your regular doctor will gladly see you online. Ask which app you need to use, or if you have one you prefer, you can ask your doctor to use that one instead.
Get Your Paperwork in Order
If you’re seeing your regular doctor, you won’t need to provide a medical history, but if you’re using a telehealth platform for the first time, you should make an account and make sure your new patient paperwork and medical history information are up to date. Even if you’re seeing your regular doctor online, call the office ahead of your appointment to make sure your file is up to date. If you need to fill out pre-appointment paperwork, make sure it’s ready before your appointment. If your doctor has asked you to keep track of any data or symptoms, like glucometer readings since your last appointment, make sure those are available, too.
Be Ready to Dive Right into Your Appointment
Before your appointment is scheduled to start, check that your telehealth app is working, your connection is strong, and your device is ready. Have another means of communication ready to go if your connection drops mid-visit (most people’s backup plan is an audio call). Set yourself up somewhere quiet and out of the way. Have a strong light source in front of you so your doctor can see you clearly.
You’ll want to get right to the purpose of your visit as soon as it begins, just like you would in a regular doctor’s appointment. Before your appointment, jot down your symptoms, their progression, and any treatments you’ve already tried. If you’re using herbal or homeopathic treatments or over-the-counter medicines, be ready to tell what they are and what dosage you’ve been using. You can have the bottles on hand to show your doctor over the camera.
Just like with any doctor’s appointment, you should come in armed with questions and ready to write down the answers. While privacy in a doctor’s appointment is important, it can be helpful to have someone you trust there to take notes and maybe ask questions you haven’t thought of. Remember to ask about any follow-ups you might need and how to use any medications you’re prescribed.
Do you need to go to the doctor but don’t want to drive to the clinic? Maybe you’re feeling too sick or maybe you’re afraid to contract COVID-19. Maybe you don’t have insurance and need an option for affordable care. Telehealth services could be the answer. See a doctor online immediately and get the care you need to start feeling better. You don’t even need to leave the house!