To the Editor:
Before you open that laptop to chat with your doctor, check that your insurance will pay for it! Imagine my shock when I found out that I have over $400 in co-pays hanging over my head, because my insurance seems to be still debating if those three phone calls were even necessary. That is a hefty amount, especially for the unemployed and low-income individuals.
Yes, there are payment plans, but the patient often can't determine the amount for each installment. My previously independent physician joined a health care umbrella group, and their billing department requests a certain amount - whether I can afford it is besides the point - with the thinly veiled thread of collection procedures if I don't cough up the money in a timely manner.
These virtual doctor visits are not for everyone. How about taking a blood pressure reading, listen to heart and lungs, feel the pulse? I can tell the physician were the pain is, but he still has to touch that spot on my body to see if it is swollen, soft, hart, etc.
I will cancel all future phone appointments and wait until I can see my health care provider face to face again, for $20 co-pay, I can only hope I don't get seriously ill in the meantime.