Independence Blue Cross adds telemedicine coverage


Independence Blue Cross (Independence) is now offering coverage for telemedicine for medical issues that aren’t emergencies, the company has announced.

There are two different options to choose from: 1) members may have a telemedicine consultation with their local primary care physician (PCP) and 2) they can use MDLIVE’s service and access their network of board-certified PCPs.

“Telemedicine is emerging as a consumer preferred channel and we’re pleased to offer our members the opportunity to take advantage of communicating more quickly and easily with their doctors through a secure video on their cell phone, iPad, or other digital device,” Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross, said in a statement. “These virtual visits won’t replace the important relationships our members have with their primary care physicians, but rather expand the options for access to convenient, timely health care, which also include our network of retail health clinics and urgent care centers.”

Using a local PCP is available to members who are enrolled in commercial fully-insured and self-funded Keystone Health Plan East HMO or Personal Choice PPO plans and whose PCP offers telemedicine consultations.

On the other hand, select employer groups can access virtual visits through MDLIVE, which physicians can diagnose medical conditions, provide short-term treatment plans, and prescribe necessary medications for non-emergency medical conditions. Through the MDLIVE web portal, members can get information on physicians, check appointment availability, and schedule an appointment with the doctor of their choice. Also, members are able to request a copy of the medical record from a telemedicine consultation to share with their PCP.