Independence Blue Cross said it is offering telemedicine services to certain employer groups through MDLIVE, a national company that connects patients with primary-care physicians by telephone, video or mobile app.

MDLIVE physicians, who will be paid through a contract MDLIVE has with IBC, can make diagnoses and prescribe medicines.

Separately, IBC members will be able to have a video chat with their local primary-care physician if their physician offers the services, the Philadelphia insurer said.

What's unusual about the second form of telemedicine is that the doctors will be paid, instead of providing the service for free as is the case now when a patient calls.

The company did not say how many physicians had agreed to offer the service or how much the physicians will be paid.

.Telemedicine has become increasingly popular as insurers and providers seek to reduce spending and improve care.