Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will offer Teladoc's virtual care services to select employers and members, the insurer announced this week.
Members in most Blue Cross NC's individual and fully insured group plans will be able to access Teladoc Health's virtual platform for acute care and behavioral healthcare needs, the company said.
Teladoc's full slate of care management options, such as diabetes platform Livongo or the myStrength behavioral health platform, will be available to self-funding employers beginning in 2022, Blue Cross NC said. These tools aim to better manage chronic illnesses to avoid unneeded emergency department visits and hospital admissions.
“For more than two decades, Blue Cross NC has provided convenient access to quality virtual care solutions,” said Roberta Capp, M.D., chief medical officer at Blue Cross NC, in a statement.
“Through our collaboration with Teladoc Health, we can continue to offer more equitable access to chronic disease digital solutions regardless of physical location and work to make health care better for all North Carolinians," Capp said.
Blue Cross NC said that telehealth use grew by a whopping 7,500% among its members during the pandemic, and offering Teladoc's services allows for greater eases of access for people who have adopted the technology. The insurer also recently extended its telehealth coverage policy through March 31, 2022 and will cover doctor visits conducted virtually or by phone the same as in-person visits.
In addition, behavioral health needs soared due to COVID-19, and the insurer found that such needs were one of the top two reasons members sought out virtual care.
“The expanded reach of Teladoc Health’s partnership with Blue Cross NC fundamentally transforms care for members by delivering whole-person care,” said Kelly Bliss, Teladoc Health President, U.S. Group Health, in a statement. “This is a great example of how innovative organizations can provide greater access to proven solutions that address acute care while also supporting ongoing health needs.”