Rhode Island moves to make telemedicine insurance coverage permanent

The Rhode Island Senate Health and Human Services Committee on May 27 advanced a bill that would permanently require payers to cover telemedicine services, according to local CBS affiliate WPRI

The bill now moves to the Senate for a vote. The legislation calls for expanded telemedicine access by allowing audio-only visits and would also require all telemedicine services to be reimbursed at the same rate or higher than the same services would have been if provided in person. The bill also would prohibit insurers from implementing cost-sharing and prior authorization requirements for telemedicine services. 

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo issued an executive order in March that requires all insurers to cover telemedicine visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Our experience with telemedicine during the pandemic shows that it is practical and useful to Rhode Islanders," said state Sen. Joshua Miller, D-Cranston, according to the report. "Offering it as an option permanently would improve our healthcare delivery and make it more user-friendly."  

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