Amid COVID-19, telehealth has become an essential part of healthcare delivery and a preferred means of accessing care. With large and growing demand for virtual care, telehealth companies nationwide have rushed a host of solutions to market. From independent virtual care solutions and value-added services to telehealth programs built into major medical plans, there is no shortage of options.

All companies claim the same basic benefits, so how does a broker choose the right telehealth partner in this sea of sameness?

The best first step is to find a telehealth company that offers a wide range of services, provides top-to-bottom support for brokers, employers and members and ensures high utilization and ROI. Otherwise, you may end up with a flimsy program that provides incomplete care and a considerable amount of hassle.

Here are the top seven things to look for in a telehealth partner:

  1. Support for HR: HR directors tasked with selecting benefits programs are experiencing new levels of fatigue and overwhelm. Choose a company that will help you ease this burden for your groups with simple implementation and ongoing support.
  2. Care Navigation: Likewise, ensure your partner provides a high level of support to employees to make it easy and convenient for them to utilize the service. This includes care navigation to help employees troubleshoot technology issues, connect with the right doctors, secure the best pharmacy prices and even access high-quality, affordable specialty care when needed – things that are much easier said than done given the complexity of the U.S. healthcare system.
  3. Marketing Support: Choose a company that will provide strong marketing support – like web pages, email campaigns, educational materials and an easy payment portal – to boost utilization among employees and ROI for your groups. Your partner should make this extra simple and convenient by offering a self-serve marketing portal where you can pick, choose and customize the right resources and materials for your groups.
  4. Cost Considerations: Healthcare costs continue to climb year after year, taking a larger bite out of the bottom line. Finance leaders are taking a hard look at their programs to determine whether they’re getting their money’s worth. Make sure your telehealth partner can clearly demonstrate the program’s ROI and offer the option for a capitated plan.
  5. Suite of Services: Look for a well-established telehealth provider that offers comprehensive, holistic healthcare services – like teletherapy, telepsychiatry, virtual primary care and urgent care – rather than purchasing popular telehealth products piecemeal.
  6. Standalone Solution: Telehealth may be embedded in a company health plan, but this is problematic for a couple of reasons. First, plan members typically don’t know (or don’t remember) they have access to virtual care through their plan. Second, the U.S. Department of Labor reports only 54% of employees in private industries choose to participate in the company health plan. With a standalone solution, you can provide access to all employees whether they opt into the company health plan or not – and this includes part-time, seasonal staff and 1099 workers.
  7. Flexibility: You want a partner that allows you to customize the telehealth program for your groups, including flexibility with group size and the option to add employees’ dependents.

Employees nationwide are clamoring for more virtual options in their benefits packages, but companies are taking a much harder look at per-employee-per-month products. It’s critical to find a partner that checks all of the boxes and provides high value for you and your groups.

Learn more about what to look for in a telehealth company.

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