Service provides access to psychiatrists and therapists through a relationship with MDLIVE
To better meet members’ needs and expand access to care, Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), a leading health and well-being company, is teaming up with MDLIVE, a leading telemedicine services and software provider, to provide Humana Medicare Advantage members virtual access to behavioral health services in select Washington counties.
Humana is including the virtual visit benefit on certain Medicare Advantage plans offered for the 2019 plan year. Members who choose plans with this benefit can access clinicians through personal computers, telephone or mobile devices for a wide range of non-emergency mental and behavioral conditions, such as addiction, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, grief and loss, life changes, panic disorders, parenting issues, postpartum depression, relationship and marriage issues, and stress. Virtual visits are scheduled appointments for a future date and time. Initial appointments will typically occur within five to 10 days from the time an appointment is first made or requested.
Virtual visits can be beneficial for people who might need to see a clinician on the weekend or evenings, or when they are traveling. It can also be beneficial for those who may not have access to transportation or are unable to drive.
“For people to achieve their best health, we must care for both their physical and mental health. Virtual visits allow our members to receive behavioral health care when and where they need it,” said Catherine Field, Intermountain Region Medicare President for Humana. “It’s important that we offer our members access to behavioral health services in a timely manner and reduce some of the barriers that prevent people from getting the mental health care they need.”
All virtual visit psychiatrists and therapists are U.S. board certified and in-state licensed and/or credentialed in the states they practice. The clinicians can provide psychiatric diagnostic evaluation, individual or family psychotherapy, ongoing behavioral health evaluation and management.
With the member’s consent, Humana utilizes its clinical data technology to ensure individual health records are available to MDLIVE medical professionals and the MDLIVE clinician’s treatment plan, including any prescriptions, is shared with the member’s primary care physician.
Humana will offer the virtual visit benefit on the following Medicare Advantage plans with a $0 copay per visit on all of these plans:
- Humana Gold Plus HMO plan in Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Whatcom and Skagit counties.
- HumanaChoice PPO plan in Clark, Cowlitz, Island, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Walla Walla, and Whatcom counties.
- Humana Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (for people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid) in Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, and Thurston counties.
People with Medicare may select these plans during the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Election Period, which runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2018. Those selecting a plan with this option will be able to start using the benefit Jan. 1, 2019.
Since introducing the physical health virtual visit benefit on some Medicare Advantage plans in 2016, 85 percent of Humana members who used the service and took the post-care survey ranked their experience as either good or excellent.
Washington Medicare beneficiaries living in Clark, Cowlitz, Island, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Walla Walla, Whatcom and Skagit counties who are interested in utilizing MDLIVE should visit Humana.com/Medicare to research these plans and learn more about this and other plan benefits.