Under current law, health benefit plans issued, amended, or renewed in this state cannot require in-person health care delivery for a person covered under the plan who resides in a county with 150,000 or fewer residents if the care can be appropriately delivered through telemedicine and the county has the technology necessary for care delivery via telemedicine.
Starting January 1, 2016, the bill removes the population restrictions and precludes a health benefit plan from requiring in-person care delivery when telemedicine is appropriate, regardless of the geographic location of the health care provider and the recipient of care. A provider need not demonstrate that a barrier to in-person care exists for coverage of telemedicine under a health benefit plan to apply.
In addition, carriers:
- Must reimburse providers who deliver care through telemedicine on the same basis that the carrier is responsible for coverage of services delivered in person;
- Cannot charge deductible, copayment, or coinsurance amounts that are not equally imposed on all terms and services covered under the health benefit plan; and
- Cannot impose an annual or lifetime dollar maximum that applies separately to telemedicine services.