Coronavirus: How to use telemedicine while sheltering in place
While the Bay Area shelters in place, people are increasingly turning to telemedicine to have their COVID-19 concerns and other issues addressed by doctors. Doctors say telehealth should be the default right now, although if necessary, patients can visit a doctor or hospital.
Many platforms, including Bay Area-based Hims & Hers, are offering telehealth options addressing a broad range of concerns from COVID-19 to sexual health, skin conditions, colds and flu, rashes, prescription refills and more.
Costs for telehealth differ from provider to provider. Some accept insurance and some don’t. To help patients, some insurance companies are waiving out-of-pocket fees including copays for members who use virtual platforms. In the Bay Area, every hospital and health care provider is offering telehealth, as are a number of private services.
Hims & Hers, for example, offers a free COVID-19 screening online and charges $39 for a telehealth appointment. Celebrities have tweeted endorsements of Hims & Hers, and unlike some companies, it has stayed out of trouble with the FDA by not offering a home COVID-19 screening test. The company does not accept insurance.
Other companies providing virtual care and free screenings for COVID-19 include Teladoc, Doctor on Demand, HeyDoctor, Heal, Lemonaid, and PlushCare.
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