Telehealth Coverage Becoming Mainstream

Telehealth (aka “telemedicine”) is the ability to receive medical care from a nurse or physician at anytime, anywhere, via computer, tablet or telephone. As of spring 2016, 29 states and Washington, D.C. require insurers to provide the same level of coverage and reimbursement for telemedicine services as in-person services. Moreover, top insurers like Anthem, Aetna, UnitedHealth and most Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans now cover the cost of telemedicine services.1

Some of the convenient ways telehealth is deployed include assessing injuries or illness to determine if a patient should go immediately to urgent care or the ER, to facilitate more frequent check-ins with chronically ill patients and to streamline insurance mandates for a primary care physician consultation before making a specialist referral. These quick consultations can help patients get the care they need without the lengthy wait that may accompany an office visit.

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1 Bob Herman. ModernHealthcare.com. Feb 20, 2016. "Virtual reality: More insurers are embracing telehealth” Accessed June 15, 2016.

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