Like its small business clients, Payroll Experts struggles with the ever-rising price of employee health insurance. The Scottsdale, Ariz., company also knows how much its productivity dips when one of its 21 staffers gets a sore throat and has to leave work to go to a doctor’s office or clinic during its quarterly busy seasons.
But at Payroll Experts, workers have another option. They can sit in front of a computer with a webcam and quickly get an online medical exam by an urgent-care nurse practitioner and, if needed, get a prescription sent to a nearby pharmacy.
“Employees often can’t get a quick appointment at their primary doctor and end up going to urgent-care clinics. Now they use the online exam as a convenient alternative,” says Alexia Matak, director of marketing at Payroll Experts. Along with the convenience, fewer urgent care visits keep the company’s health insurance premiums down, she says. Employees have typically had ailments such as sinus or bladder infections, allergies and skin irritations diagnosed via an online exam.
Even as the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the individual mandate portion of Obamacare — paving the way for making health care available to uninsured Americans — the fact remains that health-care costs for employers and their workers remain expensive and difficult to manage.