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Health & Wellness News

Healthcare Online: Health Plan Telehealth Platforms vs. Virtual Visits

Summer, 2020

With healthcare provider visits now available online, there is easy access to non-emergency medical and behavioral health care from the comfort and safety of your home. There are two ways active members enrolled in The Episcopal Church Medical Trust health plans can access a healthcare provider besides having an in-person office visit. Before you schedule your appointment, make sure you understand the difference between your health plan’s telehealth platform and virtual visits.

Get to know your options by visiting our COVID-19 Resources.

Telehealth Platforms Offered by Your Health Plan

A telehealth platform provides active members (and their eligible dependents) enrolled in a Medical Trust health plan access to a specific group of medical and behavioral health providers who conduct office visits online. If you have high-speed internet access, a webcam or built-in camera, and audio capability, you can use either a computer or mobile device to access your health plan’s telehealth platform.

  • Cost: In response to COVID-19, covered services received via health plan telehealth platforms are available to members (and their eligible dependents) with no deductible, copay, or coinsurance through December 31, 2021.
  • Healthcare Providers: Services are provided through your health plan’s telehealth platform by contracted medical and behavioral health providers. Take note: Your personal healthcare provider may not participate on the health plan’s telehealth platform.

To access telehealth services through this option, go to the telehealth platform offered by your health plan:

  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield: Access on your computer or download the mobile apps LiveHealth Online in the App Store® or Google Play.
  • Cigna: Log in to and access AmWell* for Cigna or MDLIVE for Cigna on your computer, or download the mobile apps AmWell* or MDLIVE by searching in the App Store® or Google Play.
  • Kaiser Permanente: Access telehealth services through Kaiser’s platform by calling the number on the back of your Kaiser member ID card.

If you have questions about accessing your health plan’s telehealth platform, call your health plan’s Member Services team for support.

Virtual Visits

If you are an active member enrolled in a Medical Trust health plan administered by Anthem or Cigna and you’d like to visit your personal healthcare provider, you may be able to connect using a virtual visit. These visits do not take place on your health plan’s telehealth platform. A virtual visit is accessed through an electronic medium of your provider’s choice (e.g., Zoom, Skype, telephonic-only, etc.).

  • Cost: As an exception during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Medical Trust is allowing claims for virtual visits with network and out-of-network providers to be covered at standard levels of benefits and member cost shares through at least December 31, 2021.
  • Note: Virtual visits are not available to Kaiser members. Kaiser members must use the Kaiser telehealth platform for telehealth services.

For Retirees:

Retirees who have a Medical Trust Medicare Supplement Health Plan can contact:

  • Medicare: (800) 633-4227
  • UHC’s 24/7 NurseLine: (866) 229-2919
  • Health Advocate: (866) 695-8622

For more information regarding Medicare benefits (e.g., telehealth or virtual visits) and additional Medicare information, go to Medicare & Coronavirus.


*Beginning January 1, 2021, Cigna will no longer be offering virtual services through Amwell. MDLIVE will be the primary virtual care vendor for Cigna members, along with virtual care offered by in-network providers.