Major Insurers Tap Breaks on Telehealth Cost-Sharing Waivers

When the coronavirus pandemic bore down on the U.S., health insurers not only moved to waive cost sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment but also for telehealth visits of all varieties, as shutdowns and fears of contracting the virus kept most Americans out of traditional clinical settings. And there’s clear evidence that consumers embraced virtual care with gusto: a recent analysis from FAIR Health found that telehealth claim lines (an individual service or procedure listed on an insurance claim) in the privately insured population increased 3,806% between July 2019 and July 2020.

However, some major insurers have now ended their across-the-board cost-sharing waivers for non-coronavirus-related telehealth visits, putting certain members on the hook again for copays, coinsurance and/or deductibles if they opt for a virtual appointment.

© 2021 MMIT

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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