Subtitle Two of South Carolina’s largest health insurance providers are encouraging people to learn about virtual visits during Telehealth Awareness Week. Columbia, S.C. — BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina are urging people to consider telehealth for their next non-emergency room doctor visit. Members can use the service for behavioral health, urgent care and lactation consultation. Both companies are advocating the option during Telehealth Awareness Week Oct. 15 – 19, 2018, the annual observance of telehealth programs and services available in communities around the state. “Many health care visits can be conducted without being in person, such as by video,” said BlueCross Chief Medical Officer Matt Bartels, M.D. “While telehealth does not replace your relationship with your primary care physician it is a useful avenue for increasing access and convenience, which our members have told us is very important to them. Telehealth is especially useful in reducing unnecessary emergency room visits.” Available anytime on a computer, tablet or mobile phone, Blue CareOnDemand℠— the BlueCross and BlueChoice® telehealth platform — uses video to securely connect members with a physician who will review their symptoms, ask and answer questions, make diagnoses and prescribe medications, if appropriate. All the providers are U.S. board-certified physicians and licensed health care professionals. During Telehealth Awareness Week, BlueCross will post telehealth information across its social media channels. Followers can expect topics such as explaining how a telehealth visit works, member testimonials and simplifying use of telehealth. BlueCross and BlueChoice members can register for the service, which was launched in January 2016, at www.BlueCareOnDemandSC.com, or they can search for Blue CareOnDemand in the App Store or Google Play. Many members have downloaded the app and those who have not are urged to do so now because of emergency uncertainties, including the upcoming flu season. About BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Headquartered in Columbia and operating in South Carolina for more than 70 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 20 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina also is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. About BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina Headquartered in Columbia, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueChoice HealthPlan offers four categories of group health plans, as well as individual plans for adults and families, and a South Carolina Medicaid product. Both companies hold an A+ rating from A.M. Best.