6 things to know about Iowa's new telehealth law

Gov. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa, signed a bill into law March 29 that requires commercial health insurers to cover telehealth services the same as in-person care, according to The National Law Review.

Here are six things to know.

1. The law (HF 2305) is effective January 1, 2019 and applies to all policies delivered, issued or reissued in Iowa after that date.

2. The law states: "[A] policy, contract, or plan providing for third-party payment or prepayment of health or medical expenses shall not discriminate between coverage benefits for health care services that are provided in person and the same health care services that are delivered through telehealth."

3. It applies to four classes of health plans, including individual or group accident and sickness insurance providing coverage on an expense-incurred basis; an individual or group hospital or medical service contract; an individual or group HMO contract; and a public employee plan.

4. Telehealth coverage will be limited to interactive audio and video services, meaning store-and-forward and remote patient monitoring modalities are not covered.

5. The new law doesn't contain any payment parity language, meaning it does not mandate health plans to pay providers at the same or equivalent reimbursement rates contracted for with the health plan for the same services in-person.  

6. Iowa joins 35 states and  the District of Columbia in passing a law that requires commercial health plans to cover telehealth services.

More articles on telehealth:
Planned Parenthood reaches 1M conversations on remote sex education program
Frost & Sullivan: Why 'femtech' will disrupt the healthcare market
VA rolls out telehealth program to address PTSD in veterans

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