Under current law, health benefit plans are required to cover health care services delivered to a covered person by a provider via telehealth in the same manner that the plan covers health care services delivered by a provider in person. The bill clarifies that:
- A health plan cannot restrict or deny coverage of telehealth services based on the communication technology or application used to deliver the telehealth services;
- The availability of telehealth services does not change a carrier's obligation to contract with providers available in the community to provide in-person services;
- A covered person may receive telehealth services from a private residence, but the carrier is not required to pay or reimburse for any transmission costs or originating site fees the covered person incurs;
- A carrier is to apply the applicable copayment, coinsurance, or deductible amount to health care services a covered person receives through telehealth, which amount cannot exceed the amount applicable to those health care services when delivered through in-person care; and
- Telehealth includes health care services provided through HIPAA-compliant audio-visual communication or the use of a HIPAA-compliant application via a cellular telephone but does not include voice-only telephone communication or text messaging.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)