Payers expand virtual-first plans to deliver lower premiums, accessible care

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Insurers around the country are pivoting from pandemic-era strategies as they develop virtual-first plans — a strategy that promotes telehealth visits prior to nonemergency care.

Payers like Michigan's Priority Health and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire are all using the approach to deliver plans with lower premiums, according to Kaiser Health News.

Many of the plans promote virtual care as a primary point of contact, with the opportunity to schedule in-person care with a referral. It also allows health plans to hire staffing firms that aren't tied to a set location. 

However, the approach has gotten some pushback as physicians said there are some ailments that can only be diagnosed during an in-person visit. 

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