County employees to have Teledoc services available

County employees will have an option to “see” a doctor over their smartphone, computer, tablet or telephone after Jan. 1.

The supervisors on Monday approved adding Teledoc’s “Healthiest You” program as a health benefit. The cost to the county is $14 per month per employee, for a total annual cost of about $11,760 for the 70 participants in the plan.

Included is the BestDoc® option, which gives participants access to second opinions from specialists all over the country.

Informational sessions will be planned to introduce Teledoc to employees, and the county can monitor usage to assure that it’s used.

The goal is to decrease unnecessary clinic and emergency room visits, and to provide options for better care. According to insurance broker Sandy Scheuermann, any cost savings one year will be seen in lower premiums the next year.

“This is trying to find a way to lessen costs,” board chair John Muir said.

Plan participants will also be asked to designate whether they’re using a $1,000 deductible or $1,500 deductible plan after Jan. 1. The county is discontinuing the $500 deductible it has offered the last several years.

The supervisors also approved renewing the health insurance policy discussed Nov. 27, with a 23 percent increase in premium costs.

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