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Blue Cross offers online advice at virtual clinic

Through Online Care Anywhere, a virtual clinic offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, all Minnesotans now have immediate access to medical advice from local health care professionals, right at their fingertips - at

The service is modeled after a traditional doctor's office visit and is staffed by experienced physicians and nurse practitioners licensed and practicing in Minnesota. Through the availability of a webcam, individuals can have a face-to-face conversation with a health care provider, or they can access the service via phone. Individuals do not need to be a Blue Cross member to use Online Care Anywhere.

To safeguard consumers' privacy and protect their health and financial identity information, the Online Care Anywhere site is built with multiple layers of security, and is fully compliant with the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Among other security precautions, providers can review patient clinical information only with explicit consent, and patients always decide and control what information to share (if any) with their primary care physician.

Online Care Anywhere, powered by American Well, Inc., is connected with HealthVault, Microsoft's online consumer health platform allowing consumers to privately maintain their personal health information.

The doctors are online Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and during holidays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost is $45 for a doctor's visit. Credit and debit cards are accepted.

For details, visit or call 877-515-9990.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota.

Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago. Go to for more information.