Telemedicine is a model of basic health insurance that refers to the initial medical consultation that always takes place by telephone. In Switzerland, the telemedicine approach has gained significant popularity as the third most preferred option for mandatory insurance coverage, trailing behind the family doctor and standard model. It eases people’s lives by offering fast assistance and enables them to save money. This convenient and accessible method allows individuals to seek medical advice without the need for an in-person visit.
When individuals begin to experience symptoms of illness or require medical assistance, it is crucial to promptly reach out to a designated medical advice center. With the exception of precautionary gynecological check-ups, medical visits related to pregnancy, vaccinations, dental surgery, and medical treatment for children under the age of 6, it is mandatory to contact the call center in all other cases. The hotline associated with the Telemedicine model is available round the clock, every day of the week, ensuring continuous support and guidance. It is mandatory to make the call and follow the advice provided by the healthcare professionals.
Telemedicine and emergencies:
In cases where the Telemedicine model is deemed inappropriate or the situation requires immediate attention, it is recommended to bypass the telemedicine option and consult directly with a doctor. While emergencies may prevent you from making the necessary phone call, insurance providers acknowledge this. However, it is still required that you reach out to the call center within a specific timeframe following the emergency, as determined by each insurer. It is crucial to contact your insurer before receiving any additional medical treatment subsequent to the initial emergency care. Failing to meet the deadline may result in your insurance policy being switched to the standard model, leading to higher premiums, or in more severe cases, you may be responsible for covering the entire treatment cost out of your own pocket. This ensures that individuals receive the appropriate level of care based on their specific needs.
Telemedicine is cost-effective
Health insurance providers can significantly reduce costs by implementing a requirement for policyholders to describe their medical concerns over the phone prior to receiving in-person medical treatment. This approach eliminates the need for doctor visits and subsequently leads to lower expenses for insurance providers. These cost savings are then passed on to policyholders in the form of lower premiums. In fact, Telemedicine premiums can be more than 20 percent cheaper compared to premiums associated with the standard model of insurance.
Benefits of telemedicine:
Telemedicine provides flexibility since a doctor is always available to speak with insured people because the consultation center is manned around the clock. The interaction remains intimate despite not being present physically.
It also saves time by giving patients professional guidance. Patients can decide if a small condition can wait until an appointment or whether it needs immediate care. In isolated places where the closest doctor may be many kilometers away, this feature is very helpful.
Furthermore, telemedicine also saves money because premiums are significantly cheaper than in other models. Further financial benefits come from the fact that telemedicine calls do not go against the deductible.
Drawbacks of telemedicine:
It can be difficult to effectively diagnose medical disorders over the phone, and in the worst situation, a wrong diagnosis could have negative health effects on the patient.
Conflicts of interest could also occur, particularly if health insurance companies run contact centers for telemedicine. These contact centers can have a monetary reason to suggest the least-priced alternative, even if a more expensive option might be the wiser medical choice.
Plans from Telemedicine Health Insurance, which have extremely low rates, sometimes include extra restrictions on the kind of physicians and specialists that can be used. It’s vital to remember that telemedicine service recommendations are frequently enforceable by law and that if you choose a different course of treatment from what the telemedicine center recommends, you may result in higher premiums charged to you.
The popularity of telemedicine highlights the convenience and efficiency it offers, allowing individuals to access medical advice quickly and conveniently, particularly when faced with non-emergency situations. By leveraging technology, the Telemedicine model strives to streamline healthcare delivery and improve accessibility, ultimately enhancing the overall healthcare experience for individuals in Switzerland.