Latest Perk for Tech Companies: Doctor Visits at Work
Health insurers are taking notice. Two and a half years ago, Blue Shield of California, headquartered in San Francisco, began including Heal house calls in its preferred provider organization plans. About 11,000 Californians have used the house call benefit since then, according to Jeff Bailet, the insurer’s EVP of health care quality and affordability.
The house call option saves consumers considerable money, Bailet said. A Heal visit costs between $14 and $74 out of pocket — compared with a visit to the emergency room for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses, which costs $200 to $400 out-of-pocket, the insurer estimates. Generally, emergency room visits can be very expensive, because patients are charged a facility fee to pay for hospital overhead costs like building maintenance and utilities.