Survey: Many prefer virtual healthcare, but few employee benefit plans offer it

Study suggests employers should consider virtual care benefits to provide convenience to employees

Survey: Many prefer virtual healthcare, but few employee benefit plans offer it

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

A study commissioned by Medisys Health Group suggests that more Canadian employees are requesting virtual healthcare, and that employers will need to adapt to meet this demand.

The study, which surveyed more than 1,500 Canadian employees, found the following:

  • Two in three Canadians would use virtual care if it was offered in their employee benefit plan.
  • 71% of Canadians are willing to trade off their current benefits for improved access to healthcare professionals, as well as technology-supported services like virtual care.
  • Virtual care is most appealing to parents and caregivers (69%), those dealing with chronic health conditions (70%) and millennials (67%).
  • Despite the high demand for virtual care, only 9% of employee benefit plans provide virtual care coverage.

“Average smart phone usage has increased by 60% over the past three years — this coupled with ongoing access barriers and supply and demand challenges within our healthcare system makes it clear why Canadians are looking to supplement traditional doctor’s office visits with virtual consults,” commented Medisys Corporate Health vice-president of medical affairs Dr. Vivien Brown.

Participants of the survey also identified the biggest benefits to virtual care – 67% said the main draw to the technology is the access to care even during late hours and weekends; 66% said the convenience it brings; 62% said it helps them avoid increasing wait times at urgent care during late hours for minor health problems; 47% said it helps reduce time missed at work; 45% said it helps create more regular visits with a healthcare professional; and 29% said it leads to less stress.



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