Private virtual health care can support your team’s wellness
What is virtual health care?
Virtual health care includes any option where the patient does not have to travel to a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital to receive medical treatment, advice or diagnosis. Some health care practitioners provide virtual care over the phone, while others use video chats or text messages to communicate with patients.
Virtual health care improves access
Virtual health care simplifies the care process by reducing wait times for treatment and eliminating the need to travel. But virtual health care is more than just a convenience. Consider the following:
- Half of Canadians cannot schedule a same-day or next day appointment in a doctor’s office or clinic.
- One third of people report having to wait six or more days to be seen in person by a family doctor.
- For two thirds of Canadians, the only option for in-person medical care outside regular office hours is the local hospital emergency department.
- People living in remote areas experience even greater barriers than other Canadians to accessing in-person care.
These are alarming realities, and virtual health care can play a key role in mitigating them.
Virtual care keeps people healthier
The reliable access that virtual care brings is important for promoting and maintaining health, preventing and managing disease, keeping people out of hospital, reducing unnecessary disability and premature death, and achieving health equity for all Canadians.
In general, people do a better job of engaging in the management of their own care when they have access to virtual consults.
Why do we need private virtual health care?
Although some health care practitioners in the public system have switched to virtual care in recent years, many Canadians still lack access. Meanwhile, most Canadians say they would use virtual health care if it were offered to them.
Private virtual care can help fill the gap. It provides convenient, on-demand, around-the-clock access to online physicians and nurses. And it can refer patients to a network of online doctors, medical specialists and other health care professionals – including those who work in the public system.
Imagine, for example, that an employee’s child gets an ear infection on a Saturday. Instead of having to visit the emergency department, the child can be diagnosed and treated using the parent’s private virtual health care plan.
With employee absenteeism costing Canadian employers upwards of $16 billion per year – an average of $2,000 per year for every employee – private virtual care is becoming an increasingly attractive option for keeping employees and their families healthy.
What does private virtual health care cost?
Private virtual health care is affordable! It operates either on a fee-for-service basis – around $50 to $80 per session – or for a monthly fee per employee, ranging from $3 to $10.
In Canada, only 9% of employers said they offered virtual health care benefits as of late 2018, whereas 67% of employees said they would use private virtual care if it were available. A recent survey by Mercer found that 54% of Canadian employers are likely to invest in digital health in the next five years.
Although private virtual health care provides many benefits, these services work best as a complement to in-person care, rather than a replacement. They improve a health care practitioner’s ability to interact with and treat patients.
Contact us for more information
Private virtual health care might be available through your company’s current employee health care plan. If not, CAPCORP can add it for you. Either way, you and your employees can benefit from this affordable and popular benefit.