You’re the owner of a small company that makes local deliveries for a large appliance retailer. You employ a call center staff of five people who handle appointments, billing, customer questions, and follow-ups. This small team is critical for handling nearly all of your operational tasks so that you can focus primarily on sales and growing your business.
One morning, Sam, one of your call center employees feels an upper respiratory infection coming on. He calls his doctor’s office, makes a 1:00 pm appointment and takes off four hours from work—losing 50% of the day’s productivity. That work is essential. As the owner, you have to jump in and handle Sam's calls. You can’t let this part of the business slip, or customers will get frustrated, angry and may cancel orders. That large retailer just might look for another delivery company.
Those absences add up over time, especially during allergy or flu season. And the more time employees take off to go to the doctor, the more time you spend stepping in to take their place. Even if employees try to tough it out, they may end up getting other employees sick—compounding the problem. With multiple employees absent, calls go unanswered, customers experience longer wait times, and frustration rises—threatening your bottom line.
The Employer Healthcare Conundrum That Telemedicine Helps Solve
To alleviate the situation, you want to make sure your employees have easy access to a doctor and do not spread sickness to other members of your call center staff. On top of that, you’d like to offer healthcare benefits as a perk to attract top talent. You’re not alone. A recent Healthcare Trends Institute study (reported by HR Dive) indicated that “68% of employers believe health benefit plans affect their reputations and can raise employee morale and satisfaction.”
Yet while most employers know that offering good healthcare benefits helps attract and retain employees, rising healthcare costs limit how much traditional coverage employers (especially smaller employers) can offer.
That’s why employers increasingly see telemedicine as a compelling service for employees. About 75% of doctor’s, urgent care, and ER visits can be handled by telemedicine. Covering a wide variety of common illnesses and ailments, telemedicine costs very little for employers to offer while also providing employees a vital health benefit that keeps them working.
How Telemedicine Makes Your Employees’ Lives Easier and More Productive
Let’s look at a more positive story in contrast to Sam's situation. Imagine you’re the owner of an electrical service company. You’re hitting a busy part of the season as people need a lot of air conditioner tune-ups along with general electrical installations and repairs. To keep up with orders, you need to keep your small team of certified electricians healthy and available.
Unfortunately, a stomach bug spreads through the office that affects several of your certified electricians. Luckily, you provide telemedicine for all employees. Because this stomach virus has hit the community, affecting so many people, doctors know how to handle it. Your electricians can jump on the phone, have a chat with a doctor, and get the medications they need—quickly.
As a result, most of them return back to their jobs within a day—if they miss work at all. In fact, one electrician called a doctor late at night, picked up his medication the next morning, and handled all his work without a problem.
Obviously, some medical ailments and incidents require an Emergency Room, urgent care, or doctor’s office visit. But think about the many times employees are unproductive or miss work due to common ailments. Telemedicine handles these common conditions without the need for more expensive and time-consuming medical facility visits.
By Helping Employees, Employers Also Benefit from Telemedicine
Thankfully, telemedicine works like a subscription service—think Netflix—rather than the dreadfully complex process of signing up for traditional health insurance. Employers (or their employees) pay a very low cost per month to cover the employee and their entire family. That monthly cost covers the entire cost of all telemedicine visits—meaning employees (and their families) can take advantage of access to a physician without straining their budget, or yours.
While telemedicine isn't comprehensive health insurance, for employers that don’t offer health insurance or who provide limited coverage that isn’t competitive with larger employers, telemedicine is an option that helps level the playing field. And the service offers an easy and inexpensive way for employees to more preventatively and proactively address illness before it has a chance to affect their work and the health of their co-workers.
Educating and Encouraging Employees to Use Telemedicine
For such a low monthly cost per employee, telemedicine provides great benefits. To be effective, you want to make sure employees know about this service and use it as often as needed. Here are some tips to help educate employees about telemedicine and encourage them to use the service.
Contact us now if you'd like more information about telemedicine and how you can cover an employee and their family for less than $10 per month.
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