The news: UnitedHealthcare launched NavigateNOW, a new virtual-first health plan to help bring 24/7 personalized virtual care at a lower cost for members and employers.
How it works: The new health plan offers members $0 copays for both virtual and in-person medical and behavioral health services, unlimited access to care, and lower premiums by around 15%.
Why it’s worth watching: Virtual-first plans are finding their foothold in US healthcare—now that the largest US insurer launched its own, we expect to see even more insurers launch similar plans in the coming year.
Some payers have already started to do this. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer CareFirst launched a new virtual-first care offering, dubbed CloseKnit, which provides a range of virtual care services (for primary, urgent, behavioral, mental health care) and insurance navigation.
What’s driving virtual-first care? Lower healthcare costs and increasing telehealth use among consumers and providers.
Providers are also expecting to increasingly use telehealth to provide better quality of care: