Sick and Tired? See a Doctor from the Comfort of Home

Kathy Gardner

| 3 min read

Black and white image of a child's feet under a blanket
When Michelle Phillips picked up her oldest daughter from school one recent evening, she quickly realized that a trip to urgent care was in order. “My daughter’s eye was red and I suspected she had pink eye,” Phillips said. “Given pink eye is very contagious, I needed a diagnosis that night.” But her kids, ages four and six, were tired and hungry and the idea of sitting at urgent care was not appealing to Phillips, who is an administrative manager at Blue Care Network.
Michelle Phillips and her family prefer having fun to long waits at the doctor's office. (Courtesy photo) Instead, Phillips decided to see a doctor using Blue Cross’ online health care service, powered by American Well®, which is a live, online video chat with a doctor. Most Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and BCN health plans provide access to this 24/7 service. Online doctor visits are ideal for treating minor illnesses such as colds, sinus or respiratory infections, sprains or rashes. When your primary care doctor isn’t available, you can use your smartphone, tablet or computer to log in to the Amwell app or to visit with a U.S. board-certified, state-licensed doctor. You’ll be able to:
  • Choose a doctor. You can learn about their care philosophy and view feedback from other patients, plus see the doctor’s credentials, language and gender to help you choose someone who meets your needs.
  • Share your prescription history. The doctor you “visit” may prescribe medicine, if appropriate.
  • Get a report about your visit and share it with your primary care physician, a family member or caregiver.
“People really like the high-quality doctors and how easy it is to use. They like to use it when they’re traveling or can’t get away from work,” said Gino Polidori, manager of Product Development for BCBSM. “People also like that they can get prescriptions sent to their pharmacy, if needed.” For Phillips, the doctor was great and what could have been a long night at urgent care turned into just another school night at home. Turns out her daughter did have pink eye and Phillips had the antibiotic to treat the infection at home to help her get back on the mend. “My daughter and I interacted with the doctor as if we were in the same physical location. The doctor offered to call in a prescription for us,” she said. “I love that we have the capability to have access to a doctor no matter the location, from home or away on a vacation.” The best time to sign up for virtual physician services is before you need them. Download the Amwell app from your mobile phone, sign up online at or call 1-844-733-3627 to get started. If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
Photo credit: Juan Camilo Trujillo 
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association