Reach a Doctor by Phone 24/7 at Home or on the Road

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There’s no good time for you or your family members to get sick, but there are certain times that are far worse than others. Right before or while on a trip are two particularly bad times to get sick, and that means those are the precise times when illnesses are more likely to occur…at least at my house! There are a million reasons why those are particularly bad times to be under the weather, but some of the reasons are very pragmatic.

It can be hard enough to find the time to get into your own doctor on an average day, but when you are pressed for time because you are scheduled to leave town, it can be especially challenging. If you are already out of town and don’t know any doctors nearby, it can be even more challenging to source routine medical treatment for you or your family members.

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Reach a doctor 24/7 via Teladoc

However, I just used a service that makes the logistical challenges of needing to see a doctor so much better. For whatever reason, I woke up today with what seems to be pinkeye. Obviously not life-threatening, but quite annoying, and very contagious. #thankskids

Woke up like this. Lovely.

Normally, this would require my crossing fingers and toes that a doctor could get me in, wasting a couple hours for the appointment and inevitable waits, and getting exposed to plenty of additional germs in the waiting room. However, I remembered some information about Teladoc that our insurance company had mailed several months ago, and this was the perfect time to try out the service.

After spending 10 – 15 minutes setting up my Teladoc account and providing basic medical history, Teladoc scheduled the next available board-certified doctor to call me. I was told they would call within the hour, but in reality, it took less than five minutes until I had a real doctor on the phone while I was still at home in my pajamas drinking coffee. This is like something out a magic alternate universe that I have wished for countless times.

The doctor and I chatted for about three minutes and then he sent a prescription of antibiotic eyedrops to my local pharmacy, told me to buy workout gloves for the gym, disinfect knobs and facets that I have touched at home, and that was that. They offer regular phone calls or even video consultations in case you need to see the doctor “face-to-face”.

Use Teladoc at home or while traveling the country

I was at home when I woke up with these nasty eyes, but it is easy to imagine how useful Teladoc would be on the road when there are additional barriers to getting into a real doctor’s office. You can use the service across the country with the caveat that any prescriptions that are written must be sent to a pharmacy in that state. Unfortunately, Teladoc does not work for international treatment.

This life-changing service was only $10 with our insurance, but it looks like it might be only $40 for a general medical appointment without insurance, which is still a bargain in my book.

Clearly, a phone consult is not appropriate for every type of ailment, but it may work for things like sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, cold and flu symptoms, allergies, pinkeye, and other everyday non-emergent illnesses. They do also treat children, though of course, only simple medical situations would be appropriate for treatment by telephone for the little ones.

In addition to being perfect for use while traveling, I love that Teladoc is available 365 days per year and 24 hours per day. This means you can get ahold of a doctor and start treatment right away if something pops up outside of office hours without having to resort to an urgent care center.

I feel like my life was just changed today – seriously. Humans created fire, the wheel, sliced bread, airplanes, and phone/video conferencing from home with a doctor. What will they think of next?!

Have you used Teladoc or similar to get treatment from your home or while on the road?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Love, love, love Teledoc! So much so that when they had their IPO a couple of years ago I bought stock! Never had a bad experience. If you know you have something you’ve had before, where your symptoms are unmistakable, like a sinus or ear infection and all you need is antibiotics, this is definitely the way to go!

    • That’s awesome! Mine had some sort of nurse advice line, but never access to a doc who could prescribe things that I know of. So smart and convenient to have this sort of option.

    • Many insurance providers have similar services, a local one even is going after other companies’ patients by offering a $49 flat amount to ‘see’ a Dr. Check with your provider before signing up anywhere, you may have a cheaper/easier/free option.

      • Oh, and as for pinkeye…our pediatrician prefers to not have office visits for pinkeye and a quick call to the nurse practitioner results in a prescription called in to our local pharmacy for eye drops…very easy, and cheaper than paying a copay to see someone.

  2. Kaiser Permanente members can email their doctor directly or schedule phone and video appointments as part of their plan. Video appointments may only be available in the large metro areas – it is sort of new. To my knowledge, they also insure their patients worldwide if they become injured and will assist in managing the care being received abroad.

    • Yes on the email and phone appts (and video), but you are at the mercy of KP doctors’ ‘banker’ hours.

      Do you know if KP offers use of Teladoc if travelling in the US but outside come area? If you do not know, I will look into it when I have time.

  3. My 20 something daughter used it to get Diamox before traveling. The travel dr she saw would only write for 3 days worth, but Teladoc gave her enough for her whole trip to Peru. And she didn’t have to take time off work. I’ve used it myself and it’s perfect for things that are more routine. They also do mental health with advance appointments which we haven’t tried but would be great for my college daughter since small towns have a shortage of mental health professionals.

  4. One of our local hospital systems provides a service like this. My ER doc husband has shifts where he stays home and teleconferences instead of going into the hospital. He still has to put on a tie, though, because they can see him!

  5. I’ve used this feature a few times (BCBS Federal Employee Program) and love it. Like you said, it’s not for everyone or every occasion, but it worked like a charm when I’ve needed it.

  6. Great option. In Southern California we have the Heal app (in CA and also the DC area as well I think). They offer house calls with doctors (usually a Dr. and Medical Asst). I was feeling lousy before a big international vacation and had a Dr. come by just to make sure I was improving. They were fantastic. Spent about 45 minutes at my house, on a Sunday…and was covered by my insurance. The cost to me…around $21!

    And, when I started to feel a bit under the weather while traveling, I messaged in and the Dr. called me (while I was in Thailand) just to give me some quick advice.

    I love that these options are becoming more and more popular. So much more efficient, and Teladoc sounds ideal for folks when traveling.

  7. I was skeptical but after experiencing I now have the opinion that this kind of service is very useful and wonderful! My husband had a fall snowboarding and made the call, was able to send a photo of his foot, answer some questions and the Dr gave him the recommendations. Fortunately it was not fracture. His foot is healed now.

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