Your Coronavirus Telehealth Questions Answered
by Julie Bitely
| 2 min read
You might have heard the term “telehealth” as the preferred and safest way to consult with a medical or behavioral health professional during the COVID-19 pandemic. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network offer many ways to access telehealth, also known as virtual visits and telemedicine. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of these options so you can keep yourself and family members healthy and safe. What is telehealth and why is using it important right now? Telehealth services allow you to consult with physicians about your symptoms without leaving your home and going to the doctor’s office. Public health officials say social distancing is key to stopping the spread of the coronavirus and recommend staying home to stem its spread. Using virtual health care for consultative services protects you and others. Telehealth options for members You can get virtual care from home 24/7 on your smartphone, tablet and computer or by telephone. We’ve recently expanded the types of medical care and added behavioral health therapy to the types of visits we’ll cover through telehealth, including:
- Your primary care doctor: Talk with your doctor first. Many primary care doctors are now offering virtual visits online or by telephone, so ask yours if he or she provides this service.
- 24-hour Nurse Line: A registered nurse can help you decide if you can self-treat or if you need to see a doctor, any time of day or night. Our nurse line has been and will continue to be available at no cost to you.
- Blue Cross members: 800-775-BLUE
- Blue Care Network members: 855-624-5214
- Blue Cross Online VisitsSM: If you have this benefit, you can have an online virtual visit with a U.S. board-certified doctor or nurse practitioner 24/7, anywhere in the U.S. The doctor can also prescribe medication, if needed. Behavioral health is also available by appointment. To sign up, download the BCBSM Online VisitsSM app or visit bcbsmonlinevisits.com.
The demand for online visits has grown exponentially, so please expect longer wait times.
- Behavioral health provider (Mental health/therapy): You can have virtual visits online or by telephone with your behavioral health care provider. If you would like help finding a provider, please call the behavioral health number on the back of your Blue Cross member ID card.
- How to Access Telehealth During the Coronavirus Outbreak
- Why Medication Adherence is Important for People at a High Risk for COVID-19
- Coronavirus Outbreak: What You Need to Know
Photo credit: SDI Productions