Georgia Telehealth Act

On May 6, 2019, Gov. Kemp signed SB 118 into law, creating the Georgia Telehealth Act. The bill expands upon existing law in an effort to increase the availability of telemedicine for a broader array of services, and to ensure pay equity for telemedicine providers.

Specifically, the law prohibits insurers from excluding a service from coverage solely because it is provided through telemedicine rather than in-person consultation. The insurer must also reimburse the provider for the diagnosis, consultation, or treatment of an insured delivered through telemedicine on the same basis and at least the rate for the same service provided through in-person contact.

Additionally, the carrier cannot impose 1) any annual or lifetime limits on telemedicine coverage other than those that apply in the aggregate to all items and services covered under the policy or 2) any copayment, coinsurance, or deductible that is not equally imposed upon all terms and services covered under the policy. An insured cannot be required to use telemedicine services in lieu of in-person consultation.

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2020. Although the measures are primarily directed towards insurers, employers with health benefit policies issued in Georgia should be aware of the new coverage requirements.

SB 118 »