Insurers would be required to pay for telehealth visits under new Pennsylvania law

It is worth noting that we are currently in times when the healthcare system all over the world is going digital and you are not required to visit your doctor’s clinic in order to take his/her assistance and that can be done right at your home through their telehealth services. However, it is still seen that insurance companies have not come to terms with telehealth as they still do not provide any insurance when it comes to taking services via telehealth because of some weird reasons. It is reported that a new bill in Harrisburg will require private insurers to pay for Pennsylvanians’ virtual doctor visits, as well as establishing quality standards for telemedicine visits.

It is worth noting that in the US, Pennsylvania is just one of the five states that does not require insurers to pay for telehealth visits but that will change soon once this bill is passed. Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania’s spokesperson said that “the industry wouldn’t be opposed to legislation mandating coverage as long as it did not impede growth.” Republic State Senator Elder Vogel, who has introduced this bill, said that “Having broader access to this critical form of health care allows residents to fit their doctor’s appointments into their busy schedules and save money on travel during a time where we are seeing inflated costs,”

According to this bill, it “would not allow insurers to withhold payment for virtual visits that would otherwise be covered if they happened in person. The bill does not, however, require insurers to cover telemedicine sessions at the same rate as an in-person appointment”. Also, this bill “requires Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program known as CHIP to cover virtual visits, and would make the state’s licensing boards responsible for ensuring online visits provide the same quality of care as appointments in doctors’ offices”. It is worth noting that insurance mandate was unable to pass in the State General Assembly, twice before the pandemic and once during, but there are hopes that this bill would now move forward thanks to Democratic majority in the House and get passed.

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