Today, Kaiser Permanente announced the launch of a new, first of its kind virtual care health plan in the mid-Atlantic region. The new offerings, called Virtual Forward, will be available starting on January 1, 2021. The Virtual Forward products are ideal for those interested primarily in virtual visits but who also want the option of choosing in-person care.
Kaiser Permanente is launching these new products in response to consumer interest in secure, easy to use, value-based, innovative health plan option that offers affordability and the latest technology enabling members to receive high-quality care from physicians in the region’s largest multi-specialty group, the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group.
The four Virtual Forward health plans give members access to unlimited virtual appointments with Kaiser Permanente’s primary care physicians and specialists with a $0 copay. Members who select Virtual Forward can also see a physician in person. The product fully covers the first, in-person primary care visit with no charge as well as annual preventive visits and services. Virtual Forward plans also cover prescriptions filled at Kaiser Permanente’s pharmacies. Because doctors, nurses and other specialists at Kaiser Permanente have access to members’ electronic health records, they can easily collaborate on patient care whether the patient is seen in-person or virtually.
Since April 2007, Kaiser Permanente has offered telehealth visits in the mid-Atlantic region. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Kaiser Permanente rapidly expanded its virtual offerings. During 2020, Kaiser Permanente has provided more than 1.3 million virtual appointments (phone and video). Additionally, between 2019 and 2020, Kaiser Permanente video visits in the mid-Atlantic region increased by 779% – from 63,000 to more than 557,000. Kaiser Permanente’s members have expressed overwhelmingly positive satisfaction with the health system’s virtual care experience during the pandemic.
“Kaiser Permanente is a leader in virtual care. Throughout 2020, increasing numbers of our 770,000+ members have accessed our primary, urgent and specialty care through video, phone and secure messaging, and have been delighted,” said Mark Ruszczyk, vice president, marketing, sales and business development for Kaiser Permanente. “We see virtual care as a permanent and welcome addition to everyday healthcare. This new plan from Kaiser Permanente offers a convenient and more cost-effective product for consumers who want virtual access first, with an option for in person care.”
Kaiser Permanente’s virtual care includes primary care as well as most medical specialties such as obstetrics-gynecology, behavioral health, ophthalmology, cardiology, dermatology and physical therapy. For more information about Virtual First product, visit kp.org/virtualforward
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. https://about.kaiserpermanente.org/