Virtual Care - The New Norm, Part 2

Virtual Care - The New Norm, Part 2

We recently brought to light the introduction of virtual care into the mainstream of the healthcare world. While that piece served as more of a summary for those unfamiliar with virtual care, it is now time to go more in-depth.

The International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans recently conducted a survey and the findings were quite spectacular. Even though a third of the surveyed employers stated that they offered telehealth and/or telemedicine prior to the pandemic, an additional 19% stated that they added it during the pandemic. Moreover, a further 17% have stated that the prospect of virtual care is in strong consideration.

This has had a further impact on group employee benefits plans as, according to this survey, 9% of employers have eliminated cost-sharing for virtual care services and a further 9% are currently considering following suit.

One of the major aspects of this pandemic has been a focus on mental health as people remain quarantined and in isolation for extended periods of time. This has been reflected in current industry trends as 28% of employers have added elements to their current mental-health benefits plans while another 24% are considering the same.

Virtual care has been front-and-centre of mental-health benefits plans as 10% of employers have added virtual mental-health elements to their existing structures with 15% on the verge of doing the same.

The pharmaceutical industry is feelings the effects of these changes as well. According to this survey, employers are reducing barriers to prescription drug access – with 25% of respondents saying that they have waived prescription drug premiums for members; albeit temporarily.

Julie Stitch, the vice-president of the International Foundation of Employee Benefits, stated that “Employers across Canada have made changes to their plans to adapt to the new reality,” further adding that “We’re seeing employers make decisions to ensure not only the health and well-being of their workforce but also the financial stability and long-term success of their organization.”

One thing is for certain, virtual care will play a significant role in employee benefits plans going forward. If you are part of an organization that is unaware or unsure of implementing virtual care in your plans, now is the time to act.

Contact one of our licensed brokers today at 905-696-9090 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss your virtual care options.

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