Payment Parity Between In-Person Care, Telehealth Persisted in 2021

Private insurers paid providers a similar amount for both evaluation and management and mental health therapy services regardless of whether the care was delivered in person or via telehealth in 2021, according to KFF-Peterson Health System Tracker. The analysis noted that while private insurers and employers were paying about the same amounts for in-person and telehealth in 2020, it was initially unclear whether they would continue to do so in 2021.

Telehealth use for mental health therapy surged with the COVID-19 pandemic: In 2021, more than half of mental health services were delivered via telemedicine, compared to only 1% in 2019. Common mental health therapy claims were paid at similar rates for in-person and telehealth care.

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Jinghong Chen

Jinghong Chen Reporter

Jinghong has been producing infographics and data stories on employer-sponsored insurance, public health insurance programs and prescription drug coverage for AIS Health’s Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits since 2018. She also manages AIS Health’s annual executive compensation database for top insurers and Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliates. Before joining AIS Health, she interned at WBEZ, Al Jazeera English and The New York Times Chinese. She graduated from Missouri School of Journalism with a focus on data journalism and international reporting.

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