Tele-health Executive Order requires issuers to step up

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Illinois insurers are now required to cover Tele-health based services for people receiving treatment for mental health, substance use disorder treatment and general healthcare.

Below is the full announcement from Illinois Association for Behavioral Health.

We are very pleased to announce that, in response to our request and proposal, Governor JB Pritzker has just issued an important Executive Order that requires all health insurance issuers regulated by the Department of Insurance to cover telehealth services. The Order applies to provisions of mental health & substance use disorder treatment and general healthcare. The technology authorized to be utilized goes beyond traditional telehealth methods to include:

  • Cellular phones;
  • Facebook Messenger;
  • Google Hangout;
  • FaceTime, or;
  • Skype.

These methods do not have to meet the HIPAA standards per the Waiver issued by the federal Office of Civil Rights.

The services may be provided by any in-network physician, APRNs, psychologists, clinical social workers, other mental health providers, and other substance use disorder treatment providers who are licensed, registered, certified and/or authorized to practice.

The health insurance issuers shall NOT impose utilization review requirements that are unnecessary OR impose any treatment limitations that are more stringent than the requirement imposed upon in-person care. There are also NO PRIOR AUTHORIZATION requirements allowed to be imposed for in-network providers. Finally, no cost sharing requirements may be imposed upon patients under this order.

We thank Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Insurance for their swift response to our request. Further, many thanks to IABH Legal Counsel Jud DeLoss for developing a draft Executive Order that we shared with the Governor’s Office – a majority of what he drafted is included in the final order! We are pleased to see such a swift and positive response to our request and grateful for the Governor’s continued leadership during this critical time.

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