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••• The International Writers Magazine - 21 Years on-line - On-Line Health

How Telehealth Can Help Your Freelance Lifestyle
• Indiana Lee

Whether you’re new to the gig economy or you’ve been filing 1099s for years, you know that the freelance lifestyle is a constant juggling act. Often, you’re so busy working for others that you overlook your personal needs. Forget Self-Care Sunday: it can be a struggle to find time for regular doctor visits.

working from home

Even if you’re currently thriving in the hustle and bustle of freelancing, you can’t put your well-being on the backburner for too long without consequence. Fortunately, telehealth fits in perfectly with your freelance lifestyle and allows you to manage your wellness while still managing your time effectively. It offers a variety of unique advantages that are especially good for freelancers.

Many freelancers are already familiar with video calls and internet communication, so switching to telehealth is a natural transition. Thanks to advancements in telecommunications technology, it’s never been easier to discuss your health with your doctor via video call. Improvements to communication over wireless networks like 4G and 5G shows no signs of slowing down. Telehealth is growing at a rapid pace, and freelancers are among those who stand to benefit the most.

Scheduling Flexibility

One of the top ways telehealth can help your freelance lifestyle is the flexibility it offers. Freelancers frequently work unusual and unpredictable hours that make scheduling in-person appointments difficult. Similarly, you likely don’t want to take time out of your busy day to drive to an appointment, but when you’re meeting with your doctor via video call, you don’t need to worry about commuting.

Since you’re not limited to a geographic area, telehealth offers a greater choice in care providers. If you can’t make your schedule work around one doctor, you can seek out another with times of the day or session slots that work for you. For example, if you require a vision specialist, you can find one who fits your schedule. When it comes to vision care, 61% of patients report feeling as satisfied with their telehealth visit as they would if it were in person.

Freelancers who are also parents or caregivers have more than just their own work schedule to take into account when trying to schedule a doctor’s appointment. Instead of finding (and paying) someone to take care of your child or elderly family member, you can utilize telehealth and meet with your doctor from the comfort of your own home. Telehealth provides significantly more flexibility when it comes to scheduling than traditional in-person visits.

Increased Convenience

Along the same lines of better scheduling flexibility, telehealth is a more convenient option for your freelance lifestyle. Perhaps you took up freelancing to become a digital nomad. Telehealth is the ideal way to keep in touch with the same healthcare provider instead of finding a new doctor in every country that you visit.

Because telehealth is so convenient, you’re less likely to skip annual check-ups and follow-up visits. If you’re a freelancer managing a chronic condition that requires multiple doctor visits over a long period of time, you don’t need to let your illness tie you to one place thanks to telehealth. As long as you have an internet connection, you can travel and live wherever you want.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has seen a boost in popularity. The outbreak forced doctors to cut back on in-person appointments, and with no clear end in sight, those appointments couldn’t simply be rescheduled. During past epidemics, people would have had no other option but to forgo treatments. Modern technology makes telehealth a convenient alternative.

Reduced Health Care Costs

Unlike traditional full-time employees, freelancers don’t have an employer paying for their healthcare coverage. Health insurance for freelancers can be very expensive, and if you have a high deductible, you’re likely paying out of pocket for the majority of the care you receive. Understandably, you want to get the most you possibly can out of your doctor visits.

Not only is telehealth itself frequently a more affordable option than in-person visits, but by staying on top of your wellness, you’ll likely need less medical care in the future. Studies have revealed that access to telehealth improves the overall quality and effectiveness of care. When patients take advantage of remote access to their doctor, they are less likely to be admitted or readmitted to the hospital.

Simply put, the less medical care you need, the more money you’re able to save. Scheduling regular check-ups is an important part of preventative care and could potentially save you thousands of dollars down the road.  

Better Access to Care

Many freelancers take up the lifestyle because they desire location independence. Where a more traditional career might have forced you to live in an expensive city, freelancing lets you move to wherever you please. Always dreamed of living in a cabin in the woods or on a farm without a neighbor for miles? The freelancer lifestyle gives you the chance to do just that.

In the past, rural communities have been systemically underserved in terms of health care. The rise in telehealth has made health care much more accessible in rural areas. Regardless of where you live and whether or not you have reliable transportation, telehealth allows you to consult with a doctor without limiting your choices for a specialist or curbing the number of sessions you’re able to attend.

Is Telehealth Right for You?

From better access to health care and reduced costs to improved convenience and better scheduling flexibility, telehealth can help your freelance lifestyle in a variety of ways. New telecommunications technology makes conducting virtual doctor visits to discuss your health and treatments easier and more reliable than ever before. As telehealth continues to rise in popularity and the medical community makes more advances, your busy freelancing schedule is no longer an excuse to neglect your health.

If, like many freelancers, you’re tech-savvy, telehealth is a simple solution for staying on top of your well-being. Without an employer to cover sick leave, looking after your own health is essential to your success as a freelancer. Utilize telehealth to bring balance to your freelance lifestyle.

Indiana Lee © Indiana Lee - December 16th 2020

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