Amazon Announces Expansion of Its Telemedicine Service Nationwide to Employers for Free

Amazon is expanding their telemedicine service, Amazon Care, to employees nationwide.

On Thursday, the company announced that by the summer, the Amazon Care app will be available to all workers and their families enrolled in their Amazon-sponsored Aetna or Premera health plan for no additional cost. Private employers can also get involved, per a press release to the Associated Press. 

The program had a beta launch 18 months ago at the company's headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

App users across Washington state were able to connect virtually to doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners over the phone 24 hours a day. Employees could also request video visits.

In Seattle, specifically, employees had extended Amazon Care benefits including pharmacy delivery and house-calls from nurses if the patient had needs that couldn't be fulfilled virtually or required blood work.

Care Medical – which has an exclusive contract with Amazon – is using its healthcare providers for the app. 

The extended benefits became available to all Washington employees on Wednesday and will slowly become available to workers in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia market – Amazon's second headquarters.

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"Making this available to other employers is a big step," Amazon Care Director Kristen Helton told AP. "It's an opportunity for other forward-thinking employers to offer a service that helps bring high-quality care, convenience and peace of mind."

Helton also explained that the app is meant to "be a supplement or an additional benefit to existing coverage provided by an employer."

The service expansion comes at a time when many people are seeking telehealth services due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Amazon Care is the latest health-related launch adding to the distributor giant's Amazon Pharmacy and their Amazon Halo wristband that measures a person's vitals.

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