NTCA, Teladoc Health Partner to Bring Mental Health Services by Phone, Video to Rural Communications Provider Members
Arlington, Va. (August 3, 2020)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, the premier association representing nearly 850 community-based telecommunications companies serving rural America, and Teladoc Health, the global leader in virtual care, today announced a partnership to bring behavioral health services to more than 40,000 individuals enrolled in NTCA’s Group Health Program (GHP) medical plan.
The partnership builds on a previous agreement that brings general medicine and dermatological services to more than 500 rural communications providers enrolled in GHP. Participants and covered family members can access U.S. board-certified doctors by their choice of phone, video or mobile app visits when and where they need care, 24x7. The expanded partnership comes at a time when the country is seeing a heightened need for mental health services, and it provides therapy and psychiatry support to individuals for a wide range of issues including stress, anxiety, job pressures, substance abuse and more.
“Often in rural America, a visit to the doctor’s office requires much more than just a quick drive into town,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. “Because of the unique distance and population density characteristics of rural communities, seeking healthcare is just more challenging than if you live in the city. That challenge is exacerbated by health emergencies like the pandemic we are currently experiencing, as closures have forced millions of us to move our lives online and face new sources of stress and anxiety every day.
“Thanks to our member-driven GHP, its partnership with Teladoc Health and the robust broadband networks our members have helped build, we are proud to provide these mental health services at a time when they are most needed. At NTCA we believe in the power of technology to change lives, and I believe this service will help many people.”
“We commend NTCA for its role in expanding care access, particularly at a time when we know that current events are having a widespread negative impact on individuals’ mental health,” said Kelly Bliss, President, US Group Health, Teladoc Health. “Over the past several months we’ve seen a seismic shift in consumer adoption of virtual care, and together with the NTCA we’re uniquely breaking down barriers and empowering individuals to seek quality care on their terms, in their time of need.”
Five Facts About NTCA’s Group Health Program
The Group Health Program is a component of the suite of benefit plans and services offered to NTCA members, including retirement services.
GHP is managed by a trust committee made up of NTCA member representatives and provides medical, wellness, dental, prescription drug, group life, long- and short-term disability and accident coverage options.
GHP began offering Teladoc telehealth services in 2019 and has seen significant increases in usage among plan participants.
More than 560 companies are currently enrolled in GHP services, covering more than 40,000 individuals across rural America.
Companies must be members of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association to enroll in GHP plans and services.
About NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovative change in smart rural communities across America. In an era of transformative technological developments, regulatory challenges and marketplace competition, NTCA members are advancing efforts to close the digital divide by delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks. Their commitment to building sustainable networks makes rural communities fertile ground for innovation in economic development, e-commerce, health care, agriculture and education, and it contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. Visit us at www.ntca.org.
About Teladoc Health
Teladoc Health is transforming how people access and experience healthcare. Recognized as the world leader in virtual care, Teladoc Health directly delivers millions of medical visits across 175 countries each year through the Teladoc Health Medical Group and enables millions of patient and provider touchpoints for thousands of hospitals, health systems and physician practices globally. Ranked #1 among direct-to-consumer telehealth providers in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Telehealth Satisfaction Study and Best in KLAS for Virtual Care Platforms for 2020, Teladoc Health leverages more than a decade of expertise and real-time insights to meet the growing virtual care needs of consumers, healthcare professionals, employers and health plans. For more information, please visit www.teladochealth.com or follow @TeladocHealth on Twitter.