Insights

State Reminds Insurers of their Telemedicine Obligations


On February 10, 2021, Superintendent Toal issued Bulletin No. 2021-003. The bulletin reiterates the requirements outlined in previous bulletins concerning telemedicine during the public health emergency. Previously, the state reminded insurers subject to its regulation that telemedicine services should be reimbursed at the same rates as those paid for the same service provided in-person. Plans can include a supplemental telemedicine program, but they cannot require participants to use those services. The bulletin states that the Biden administration expects the public health emergency to last through 2021.

In addition, the bulletin reminds insurers that HHS waived potential penalties for HIPAA violations by providers who use certain communication technologies during the public health emergency. The bulletin states that if this waiver expires, the requirement to cover services obtained through telemedicine (if those services would normally be in-person) may remain.

Finally, the bulletin makes clear that no law authorizes a carrier to exclude certain telemedicine services if the carrier determines that it is less effective than an in-person service.

Employers with plans regulated by the state should be aware of this information.

Bulletin No. 2021-003 »