Why Telehealth Benefits Are a Must-Have for More Inclusive Workplaces


Employees are looking for benefits that reflect their culture and values. This is especially true amid the Great Resignation, during which 43% of workersOpens a new window that quit their jobs left for better benefits, according to Pew Research Center.

Many employers’ health insurance plans don’t meet the needs of BIPOC (black, indigenous, and other people of color) employees, leaving them feeling dismissed and unheard by their companies. In fact, a survey from McKinsey Opens a new window revealed that one-third of Black employees have considered leaving their employer for better benefits in the past year.

One way that employers can support the needs of their BIPOC employees is by embracing the growing field of telehealth. Though a necessity at first, many employees have come to prefer virtual appointments to traditional in-person treatment. 

Here are a few of telehealth’s major advantages that demonstrate why offering virtual health benefits can promote equity and make for a more inclusive benefits environment:

Provider Diversity Options

Sadly, People of Color in the U.S. experience higher rates of poor health and disease and often have unique cultural considerations. Few doctors across the country have received cultural competence training to address these issues. As a result, BIPOC employees may have trouble finding doctors in their area that have the training necessary to meet their cultural needs.

Telehealth benefits can help bridge this gap by expanding the pool of providers for employees to choose from. This opens up the possibility of choosing a physician with a similar background or one who has received cultural competence training. With virtual care, patients are more likely to find a provider they feel comfortable with.

Accessibility and Convenience

Time is a precious commodity, and some people feel that they don’t have enough hours in the day or time off work to see a healthcare provider. Telehealth services can reduce these barriers to care by getting patients in and out of their appointments quickly. 

When factoring in travel, paperwork, and waiting room time, doctor’s visits can take patients away from their home or work responsibilities for hours. By contrast, telehealth appointments are so flexible they can be scheduled into a lunch break. Ease of access means that employees are less likely to put off seeing their physicians and receiving treatment.


For patients with compromised immune systems, traditional doctors’ offices (e.g., those that require you to sit in close contact with other sick patients) can be less than ideal. In-person care increases the risk of developing communicable illnesses, including pneumonia, gastrointestinal illness, common cold, flu, and COVID-19, just to name a few. 

Given that chronic conditions are more likely to strike Black and Hispanic workers, it’s important to keep these employees in safe healthcare environments. The remote format of telemedicine effectively reduces the risk of healthcare-associated infections and illnesses to zero.


Research by KFF shows that Black and Hispanic patients are disproportionately affectedOpens a new window by high healthcare costs. Unfortunately, the cost may be a barrier to these patients in accessing the quality of care they need or seeing a provider at all. 

Thankfully, telehealth visits are typically more affordable than in-person appointments. A 2017 study from Health Affairs showed that telehealth visits cost an average of $79,Opens a new window while in-office appointments cost $146. Consider that the total cost of a traditional doctor’s appointment is also more than the copay: employees may need to take time off from work, pay for childcare, and arrange transportation. When it comes to accessing equitable care, telehealth benefits can level the playing field for low-income BIPOC patients.

Advanced Care

Interestingly enough, studies have shown that for some chronic conditions, telehealth produces even better outcomes than in-person appointments. According to the Center for American Progress, 46%Opens a new window of uninsured, non-elderly Black adults suffer from a chronic health condition, and BIPOC employees are at a higher risk for life-threatening conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. These conditions are often well-suited to be managed via virtual appointments:

  • Hypertension — Recent studies show that patients treated for hypertension through telemedicine had better outcomes. Technological innovations mean blood pressure can be more accurately monitored remotely and sent to a physician. 
  • Diabetes — Blood sugar can be reported by patients using an at-home test kit or blood draw at a local lab. Treatment for type 2 is usually improved with lifestyle changes, which are implemented by the patient.
  • Asthma — One in 13 adults suffer from asthma and often requires regular visits to a doctor’s office to manage their condition. However, studies suggest that telehealth appointments are better than traditional methods for asthma control.


A major part of retaining a productive and diverse workforce is making sure employees feel appreciated and cared for. Investing in resources like telehealth that promote healthcare equity is one key way employers can ensure BIPOC employees are prioritized and respected in the workforce. 

Are you offering telehealth as part of healthcare benefits to your employees? What benefits have you seen? Let us know on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window .