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Telemedicine is really nothing new. But, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought it to light for people who may have never considered it before. In fact, in the early stages of the pandemic (March 2020), there was a 154% increase in telehealth appointments across the country.
While the popularity of telemedicine may drop slightly as things start to return to normal, no one can argue that it’s here to stay. That’s largely due to the benefits it provides. Telemedicine is accessible. It allows people to connect with their physicians from anywhere. It even improves patient care by allowing you to stay home and experience one-on-one, uninterrupted time with your doctor.
An additional benefit of telemedicine is that it’s more cost-effective than going to a traditional doctor’s appointment. It can end up saving you money now, and in the future. Let’s take a closer look at exactly how it might be the cost-effective solution for your medical needs.
How it Saves You Money Now
It’s estimated that there is about a $40 difference between a virtual office visit and an in-person visit. For some people, that’s already a huge saving. It can be especially important if you’re paying for your healthcare out of your own pocket.
If you use a credit card to pay for your medical bills, you already know things can add up quickly. It’s often a dangerous thing to do unless you know you can pay off the monthly statement. Telemedicine makes that easier.
In addition to the visits being less expensive, there are “smaller savings” that will quickly start to add up, including everything from time taken off work to the cost of driving to an appointment.
If you do have health insurance, you’ll be happy to know that many providers don’t have a co-pay for standard visits. In other cases, the co-pay can be as little as $15-20. That’s a huge saving when you’re on a budget and trying to pay for your medical care for yourself. So, consider the benefits of telemedicine at present:
- It’s accessible
- It’s convenient
- It improves patient care
- It works on your schedule
On top of those benefits, it’s also affordable. It’s no wonder 80% of Americans would choose a telemedicine option for their next doctor’s visit.
How it Can Protect Your Finances in the Future
It’s important to note that telemedicine won’t just be kind to your wallet now. It can also help to save you money in the future. Obviously, the savings that come from telemedicine appointments will add up, in the long run. But, because people tend to be more comfortable with virtual appointments, they can make them more frequently.
Why is that beneficial?
If you’re not feeling well or something just seems “off,” you can talk to your doctor about it through a telemedicine call. If you have a condition such as GERD, they might suggest something as simple as lifestyle changes to manage the issue. Or, they might suggest you make an in-person appointment so they can run some tests.
Being more willing to reach out to your physician when something doesn’t feel right can keep medical issues from getting worse. Putting off appointments can cause diseases to grow, injuries to become worse, and discomfort to become more prominent. In the end, you might end up having to go to the hospital for help, which will cost thousands of dollars more. Essentially, telemedicine can help you to “catch” things before they become serious.
With so many benefits and such ease of use, it’s clear that telemedicine is here to stay. If your financial situation is often an issue when you go to the doctor, it could be a perfect way for you to save money while receiving the care you need.