Employers are optimistic about the future of telemedicine: 5 numbers to know

Employers remain optimistic about the future role of telemedicine, even as pandemic restrictions ease, according to Kaiser Family Foundation's annual Employer Health Benefit survey. 

The survey, published Oct. 27, includes 2,188 non-federal public and private firms with three or more employees. 

Here are five findings from the survey on the role of telemedicine in employer benefits: 

  1. Among small firms with 50 to 199 employees, 87 percent cover at least some health services through telemedicine. Among large firms, this number is 96 percent. 

  2. These percentages are much higher than they were three years ago. In 2019, 65 percent of small firms had telemedicine benefits and 82 percent of large firms did. 

  3. Among companies with more than 50 employees, 34 percent expect the use of telemedicine to increase in 2022 compared to last year, 14 percent expect it to decrease and 42 percent expect it to stay about the same.

  4. Employers surveyed think telemedicine will be important for several kinds of care. Among companies with more than 50 employees, 36 percent said that telemedicine will be very important in providing access to behavioral health services in the future, and another 31 percent said it will be important. 

  5. Employers think telemedicine is important for employees in remote or rural areas. Of the employers surveyed, 40 percent said that telemedicine will be very important in providing future access to care for enrollees in remote areas, and another 27 percent said it will be important for providing care.

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