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An Update on Teladoc: We Still Got It . . . and Ours is Better!

If you're a BPI producer you're very familiar with our telehealth product Teladoc. Teladoc started it all with telehealth and remains the largest serving 6,000 groups and some 15 million members with 3,000 board certified providers.

When we started, Teladoc was just rising as a real service in the benefits landscape. As we predicted it would continue to grow and take off because the idea makes so much sense. Why spend so much time going to a physical locale for advice on common ailments or a quick question to a doc? I've documented quite openly my different experiences with Teladoc that for the most part have been positive.

The subject of copayments is an interesting one when it comes to telehealth. I've found most groups and members would rather not pay $40 to access the service. But the industry has been rapidly accepting a copayment as 'the way it is.' There are a few reasons we got to this point. One, the IRS has been nebulous about telehealth services and health savings accounts so many benefits attorneys recommend the copay model as a conservative approach. Two, the telehealth services make more money with the copays so that is what they push and market. Three, the fully insured carriers have to consider equality with their own providers when they add telehealth. If they go with a zero copay for telehealth then they threaten their own providers' business.

I realize the medical carriers all have telehealth services bundled in virtually every market. But keep in mind we still offer a zero copay model for a very reasonable $4.50 per employee per month fee. When employees access our telehealth product they pay nothing. When they pay nothing, they use it more. For self funded or experience rated groups, this is a good thing and it was the main goal for offering telehealth in the first place. We see real and significant savings when employees turn to Teladoc over urgent care or the emergency room.

This cost has risen as the experience of our access vendor has increased through the years. This fee still includes an agent commission of $.50 PEPM. If you're wondering about your current business with us, please know it will be increasing January 1. We will communicate with you these increases as we distribute quarterly reports on your cases.

If you'd like to talk further about our relationship, please give me a call! 616.481.8675 or shoot me an email at

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