Virtual visits have finally arrived to one of my local health systems. They serve both people with & without insurance & the visits are $49. This might be a good way for me to check on things if it is after hours or on a weekend. I’m actually excited to see this.
I’m happy with my local PCP & he does have Saturday hours. In the past though, I’ve been stuck arguing with urgent cares & getting not-so-great care when things happen late on Saturday or a Sunday morning or afternoon.
This is a relief because I know they can pull up my full record in the system & I don’t have to get stuck with someone outside my system treating me & not knowing my history (& spending 20 minutes explaining it from square one).
While I know I’m a more complex patient & they can’t solve everything, I at least have a point of contact here to run something by before it has another 24 hours to rest, bake, & get more serious. Or to confirm with another doctor to find out if I do need to check-in or follow-up later.
Best of all, since it’s virtual I don’t have to worry about driving somewhere when I’m feeling sick. Either out of stubbornness or just to see someone. It comes to me.
This is another thing I need to ask Aetna about tomorrow because I did see in my plan that telemedicine visits are covered as long as it’s from an Aetna provider. Plus it seems the copay is about the same or even a bit cheaper than what I would pay for an urgent care or walk-in clinic. Maybe if it’s covered they’d just charge my regular PCP copay. It will be interesting to see what they say about it.
Update 1/11: From what I was able to get from the Aetna rep was that these are covered visits but billed as a specialist office visit copay, which makes sense. If they charge less than that, that’s what I pay. This is a risk I’m willing to assume (even if a claim denies) because the fee is the same (whether people have & use insurance or not), & is no more than an urgent care visit would be. I’d rather use my own health system over the urgent care which I have not had luck with.