The COVID-19 crisis has transformed the way healthcare is delivered in the United States, with a swift transition from in-person care to telehealth. While telehealth helps increase safe access to care, especially during a global pandemic, it can create or exacerbate disparities in access by leaving some populations behind who are disadvantaged by a “digital divide”. These disparities could worsen because of the economic impact of COVID-19, as vulnerable populations may have reduced or lost income and dropped their internet or data plans to save money, turned off smartphones they can no longer afford, and lost access to publicly available WiFi with the closing of schools and libraries. America’s health insurance providers embrace digital solutions that help increase access to care and want to ensure that the people they serve, regardless of where they live or their economic situation, can access safe and convenient care. To that end, many health insurance providers are working with their provider partners to bridge the digital divide.
Bridging the Digital Divide for Consumers
How Health Plans Address the Social Determinants of Health and Promote Access to Telehealth