BOSTON (CBS) — For those worried they may be experiencing coronavirus symptoms, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is making a passionate plea for them to turn to telehealth instead of seeing their doctor in person.

“Do not underestimate the power and importance of telehealth,” Baker said in a Thursday news conference. He said “nobody has to go face to face” to accomplish something that can be done between a patient and health care provider on a video chat or phone call.

More providers are touting virtual appointments as a way to minimize physical interactions.

“The safest way to engage if you have symptoms or if you’re concerned you have symptoms with your provider is to call them up, or if you have access to videochat capability, whatever way it might be, use it,” Baker said. “That keeps them safe and frankly it keeps you safe too if you’re actually not as sick as you think you might be.”

The state’s Department of Public Health is requiring all insurers to cover telehealth services related to coronavirus testing and treatment without a co-pay.

“I can’t emphasis this enough,” Baker said. “It’s a covered benefit.”

 

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