Aetna's tentative toe in telemedicine waters

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In a move that indicates more long-awaited major insurance payer acceptance for doctor-patient telemedicine consults, Aetna is offering to its Florida and Texas members in most fully insured medical plans the option to call the 24/7 Teladoc service for a doctor phone consult. It’s not exactly ‘on demand’–the consult is about a 20-30 minute turnaround and depending on your plan and co-pays, it’s $38 or less. There’s no video consult option which Teladoc offers to other. And if you are in an Aetna Medicare Advantage or state Medicaid plan, you’re out of luck. But the fact that Aetna, not known to be an early adopter, has implemented this in two major states should be encouraging–and note that Texas’ medical board took an early lead in clarifying licensing and standards for out-of-state telemedicine consults [TA 7 Sept]. HealthcareITNews.


  1. Very good and encouraging to see that Aetna is joining BCBS of MN and NY, and UnitedHealth, in the telehealth development. It will be very interesting to see how Aetna can provide telemedicine support to Texas patrons, when TX medical board laws state that patrons had to have an initial face-to-face encounter prior to subsequent telemedicine support.