WellPoint will cover virtual doc visits

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The chance that patients can virtually see a doctor--and have that visit paid for by their insurance company--has just dramatically increased. WellPoint, the second largest health insurer in the country, plans to include coverage for such telemedicine services in all of its employer and individual plans, reported the Wall Street Journal.

WellPoint's telehealth program, LiveHealth Online, will allow its members to connect with their doctors using a webcam, video-enabled tablet or smartphone beginning in 2014. It plans to launch the program in California and Ohio early next year and then roll the service out to its remaining 12 states by the end of the year.

The virtual doctor visits should appeal to employers and individuals looking for "convenience and accessibility of care," WellPoint's Executive Vice President Ken Goulet told WSJ. >> Read the full FierceHealthPayer article