During the past few years with the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has become significantly more popular. There are several reasons why this has become a mainstay of the medical field.
First, it is much easier for people to stay protected from getting sick. Even though a lot of people are used to going to the doctor's office, many people do not want to expose themselves to other people in the waiting area. COVID-19 is not the only thing people are trying to protect themselves from, however, it made many people more aware of the dangers.
It is also important for privacy issues. People do not want to run into someone they know what the doctor's office if they are going to the doctor for a sensitive issue. Furthermore, it makes it easier for people who live in rural areas to access the care they need. They do not have to worry about driving for hours to see a doctor, and they might not have to take time off of work. At the same time, the laws related to telehealth coverage are still very much in flux. They can vary depending on the state and the payor.
Medicaid is a federal program, but it is administered at the state level. Therefore, different states can have different regulations related to Medicare reimbursement. All states and the District of Columbia, reimburse for live video services as a part of the Medicaid Program. Furthermore, at least eleven states clearly stipulate that Medicaid provides coverage for telehealth services. Even if they do not cover the entirety of the cost, they still should provide some benefit for telehealth visits.
Right now, the District of Columbia and forty-three states have some sort of law in place regarding private insurers and telehealth. Typically, the law says that private insurance companies need to reimburse for telehealth visits in a manner that is commensurate with what they reimbursed for in-person visits. However, not all of these policies specifically require them to provide coverage. Many of these laws are still being written because telehealth is relatively new, so it can be difficult for people to figure out what is covered and what is not.
There are a few states that do not have policies in place for private insurance and Telehealth. They include Alabama, Idaho, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. These states have policies in place for Medicaid coverage related to telehealth, but they do not have policies related to private insurance.
Because telehealth has become so popular, there is a lot of pressure for these states to write policies that include private insurance, Medicaid, and Telehealth; however, this is still something that is very much in flux. Furthermore, every health insurance policy is different. That is why people need to verify coverage before they arrive for their telehealth appointment.
Telehealth Parity Law
|Alabama||No Parity Law|
|Arizona||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|California||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Connecticut||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Delaware||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|District of Columbia||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Georgia||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Hawaii||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Idaho||No Parity Law|
|Illinois||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Iowa||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Kentucky||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Maryland||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Massachusetts||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Minnesota||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Nebraska||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Nevada||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|New Hampshire||Service Parity|
|New Jersey||Service Parity|
|New Mexico||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|New York||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|North Carolina||No Parity Law|
|North Dakota||Service Parity|
|Oklahoma||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Oregon||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Pennsylvania||No Parity Law|
|Rhode Island||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|South Carolina||No Parity Law|
|South Dakota||Service Parity|
|Utah||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Vermont||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Virginia||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Washington||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|West Virginia||Payment Parity and Service Parity|
|Wisconsin||No Parity Law|
|Wyoming||No Parity Law|