With Virtual Ease: Benefits provider among first to offer telemedicine
Johnston Group partners with Teladoc Health to offer doctor phone and video consultations with group insurance plan
You recognize the telltale symptoms— itchiness, redness, swelling — that point towards pink eye. You also dread they mean a long wait at a walk-in clinic or urgent care, along with missed time at work. But what if you could access a physician through the convenience of your smartphone? To help alleviate some standard healthcare woes, Winnipeg-based Johnston Group is enabling businesses to provide employees that type of care.
Johnston Group is the first company in Canada to partner with Teladoc Health, an international company that offers patients a phone or video consultation with a doctor for non-urgent primary care without leaving their home or office. Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan, administered by Johnston Group, now includes Teladoc Telemedicine Services as part of their Extended Health option. Chambers Plan is the benefits administrator for about 140,000 Canadians who work at 30,000 small-to medium-sized businesses.
“Johnston Group is building on its current virtual care offering with Teladoc Health by providing more virtual solutions via a single platform,” says Dave Angus, president of Johnston Group. “This partnership is bringing together unrivalled market expertise and high-quality health services to support Canadian businesses from coast-to-coast, no matter their size.”
According to Statistics Canada, approximately five million Canadians over the age of 12 do not have a regular care provider, and only eight per cent of Canadian physicians are reported to be practicing in rural areas, with the majority located in and around urban hubs. Patients can be left with the choice to skip care or seek it via emergency room visits, while employers often absorb the impact of absenteeism, which costs the Canadian economy $16.6 billion dollars annually. This new service helps address these barriers by allowing plan members to provide their employees with digital health benefits. In addition, this service will help small businesses manage employee costs related to absenteeism for general medical conditions, which are confidentially diagnosed through a virtual care visit completed at a time and location convenient for the member.
Broadening offerings in health, wellness and human resources supports through collaboration with innovative and forward-thinking partners is the key to Johnston Group’s success. An insurance company doesn’t get to managing over $600 million in premiums without listening to its customers.
“We embrace unique markets created by small businesses and Indigenous organizations, giving them access to a full slate of benefits because we are in the business of protecting families,” Angus explains.
Johnston Group is a platinum member of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, having held the Best Managed distinction every year since 2001. Whether they’re attempting a world record for high fives, building a home with Habitat for Humanity, pulling a plane for United Way or walking with the Bear Clan Patrol, the overall culture at Johnston Group is about putting people first in order to live in a thriving community.
“We are involved with dozens of organizations, large and small, to support the arts, athletics, entrepreneurship and the well-being of the people in the community,” says Angus. “We hope to empower people and maybe even inspire others to do more. Winnipeg is a city filled with opportunity in arts, sports, economics, technology — every type of vocation. But its diversity and sense of community make it a rare jewel, an ample training ground and an enriching challenge where small and large businesses can grow and prosper.”