UnitedHealthcare launched a new app to provide millions of Americans with access to on-demand telemedicine services 24/7.
Available on Android and iOS, the UnitedHealthcare app provides health information for people on the go, offering plan participants a single source to help maintain and improve their well-being, access care and make the most of their health benefits. Eligible plan participants can now use the app to directly schedule and conduct a Virtual Visit with a doctor, helping eliminate the need for multiple sign-ins or to download a separate app.
The new feature is available to more than 27 million people enrolled in most UnitedHealthcare employer-sponsored plans.
“Digital health resources are fundamentally changing how people navigate the health system, making it possible to access care from anywhere at any time and helping remove barriers to care,” Anne Docimo, M.D., UnitedHealthcare’s Chief Medical Officer, said in a statement. “The new app is part of UnitedHealth Group’s more than $3 billion annual investment in data, technology and innovation, helping build a health system that is more intuitive, affordable and convenient.”
Virtual visits typically last about 20 minutes, and doctors can diagnose a range of nonemergency medical conditions — including allergies, flu, colds, pinkeye, fevers and rashes. If needed, doctors can prescribe medications and send prescriptions to local pharmacies for pickup.
The UnitedHealthcare app also enables people to:
- access their health plan ID card on their smartphone, and email it directly from the mobile device to the plan participant’s physician office or hospital;
- review and manage prescription medications;
- comparison shop for care based on quality and cost, including the ability to review information for approximately 800 medical services;
- save their favorite care providers within the UnitedHealthcare network, and save claims and insert notes for follow-up;
- locate nearby physicians, hospitals, and urgent care centers using a smartphone’s GPS functionality, which may make it easier for consumers to find care providers when they are out of town;
- schedule a call with a UnitedHealthcare customer service advocate using the callback feature to address any questions about claims and benefits; and
- view information on the status of deductible and out-of-pocket spending, and check account balances for health reimbursement, flexible spending and health savings accounts.
It is estimated that about 25% of emergency room visits involve conditions that could appropriately be addressed with a virtual visit. Virtual care generally costs less than $50 per visit compared to an average of $740 for an emergency room visit for a similar low-severity condition, and is designed to provide an alternative way to access care when clinics and urgent care facilities are closed.