New virtual care benefit for group clients offers access to health care all day, every day

Tuesday, Nov 10, 2020

This high-quality service for plan members is through our partnership with EQ Care, Canada’s premiere virtual care provider.

Pacific Blue Cross launches our new virtual care benefit option for British Columbia’s group marketplace, making it easier for plan sponsors to help employees get the health care they need, when they need it.

We’re always looking for ways to adapt our products and services to meet the changing needs of our members, particularly in the COVID-19 era. Our new virtual care benefit is one example of a “contactless” service that enables immediate access to health care no matter where in the province our members live, and comes in addition to the range of digital, virtual, and telehealth care services from the Pacific Blue Cross provider network.

A value-added benefit offering for employers

Virtual care through EQ Care is an excellent solution for plan members who live in communities that are remote or don’t have robust medical services (including access to specialists), don’t have access to a family physician, live in neighborhoods that consistently experience long waits at walk-in clinics or whose clinics close early due to patient quotas, need to see a doctor outside regular business hours or rely on hospital emergency rooms for non-emergent care.

The service is available on a computer, tablet or smartphone and it’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is different from telemedicine, where doctor consults are typically offered by appointment only during business hours. In addition, virtual care offers access to mental health and other paramedical professionals at an additional cost.

Importantly, virtual care enables employees to see a health care provider without leaving work. It’s been shown to reduce the incidence and duration of casual absences, “presenteeism”, helping to attract and retain employees and improve employee satisfaction.

Adding virtual care to your plan is a seamless experience

  • The virtual care benefit can be added at any time through our standard amendment process.
  • The cost will be included in your monthly invoices and remitted to EQ Care on your behalf.
  • We confirm eligibility and send the data extract from our system to EQ Care on a monthly basis.
  • Plan members simply register with EQ Care online or through the app on their smartphone or tablet. There are no limits to how often they can see an EQ Care doctor or health care practitioner.
  • Members can see their virtual care coverage on Member Profile or on the Pacific Blue Cross member app.

About EQ Care

EQ Care is Canada’s premier virtual care provider with 30 years in Canadian health care. They offer plan members a secure, personalized approach by pairing them with a care manager that coordinates the care experience—including follow up tests, referrals to specialists or mental health professionals, and prescriptions.

If a prescription is needed, the care manager will provide it electronically to the member’s preferred pharmacy, where most pharmacies can arrange to have them delivered. To help manage the plan’s overall drug costs, EQ Care can also send e-Prescriptions to our Preferred Pharmacy Network partners.

EQ Care also offers access to mental health and health and wellness services (i.e. dieticians and social workers) at an additional cost that is billed to the member at the therapist’s hourly rate.

Speak to your trusted advisor or Pacific Blue Cross Account Executive for more information on this new benefit option.