The Ritz Herald
© Daniel Sone

COVID-19 Pandemic Influencing Increase in Telemedicine Usage

Survey finds a 422% increase in telemedicine usage

Published on December 14, 2020

COVID-19 pandemic putting a spotlight on consumers’ healthcare behavior, according to a new national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults.

Health insurance and COVID-19

The pandemic is influencing what kind of health insurance many Americans have and how they are using healthcare services. 48% say the pandemic has changed the way they use healthcare, with an additional 47% saying they have used telemedicine during the pandemic. That’s a 422% increase from the 9% that reported using telemedicine back in March. As open enrollment closes, 38% say have changed their insurance plan. In fact, 20% are increasing their coverage in response to the virus.

Key takeaways:

  • 38% utilized the open enrollment period to change their health insurance plan
  • 20% increased their health insurance coverage due to COVID-19
  • 24% have or know someone who lost their health insurance during COVID-19
  • 42% don’t know what health insurance options are available to them should they become unemployed
  • 48% say COVID-19 has changed the way they use healthcare services
  • 47% have used telemedicine during the pandemic

COVID-19 impact on family and holidays

While 48% admit the virus has caused tension in their family, 65% still plan to spend Christmas in person with family this year. But there’s one thing almost everyone can agree on: 89% are looking forward to saying goodbye to 2020 come December 31st.

Key Takeaways:

  • 48% say COVID-19 has caused tension in their family
  • 65% will spend Christmas in person with their family this year
  • 23% has had a family member request getting tested for COVID-19 before seeing them
  • 78% are not taking a winter vacation this year
  • 60% are not traveling this holiday season
  • 35% will travel by car this holiday season
  • 89% are looking forward to New Year’s Eve and saying goodbye to 2020


Many Americans are concerned about unexpected medical costs. In fact, 35% are worried about contracting the virus because of treatment costs. An additional 54% say they don’t have enough money saved to cover costs if they were to get sick.

Key Takeaways:

  • 35% are you afraid of contracting COVID-19 due to the cost of treatment
  • 54% don’t have enough money saved to cover medical bills should they contract COVID-19
  • 45% are struggling to pay their monthly bills


A COVID-19 vaccine has been approved, but many are still skeptical about its impact. 56% say they’ll still worry about COVID-19 even after the vaccine is made available. Another 52% say it will still be a year or more before life returns to “normal.”

Key Takeaways:

  • 56% will still worry about COVID-19 even after a vaccine comes to market
  • 36% think the concern about COVID-19 is exaggerated
  • 52% think it will take a year or more for life to return to “normal”
  • 43% think the COVID-19 vaccine should be mandatory for everyone
  • 93% think the COVID-19 vaccine should be free for everyone

The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted online by Scott Rasmussen from December 4-8, 2020. Fieldwork for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population. The margin of Sampling Error: +/- 3.1 percentage points (for full sample)

Associate Writer