Salem, OR—The State of Oregon has reached an agreement with several health insurance companies to continue providing expanded telehealth options through at least Dec. 31, 2020.
“Throughout this pandemic, telehealth has provided Oregonians with essential access to health care services that otherwise might have been unavailable or required the risk of an in-person appointment,” said Gov. Kate Brown. “It has transformed how many people have accessed behavioral health services. I’d like to thank Oregon’s insurers for partnering with us in this agreement, which gives us the opportunity and the time to develop more permanent telehealth policies with appropriate flexibilities during the 2021 session.”
The agreement follows guidance issued by the Department of Consumer and Business Services and the Oregon Health Authority https://dfr.oregon.gov/insure/health/understand/Do… Telehealth Guidance.pdf in late March requiring health insurance plans of all types to provide coverage for multiple telehealth platforms at the same rate as an in-person visit to limit in-person health care services.
This means health insurance companies will continue to provide coverage for expanded telehealth services for Oregonians and pay for these services at the rates they established during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our health insurance companies continue to step up. This agreement is an important one for our state,” said Andrew Stolfi, insurance commissioner and acting director of DCBS. “It means Oregonians can get the critical health care services they need, and providers will continue to get paid for providing this important care, while we all work together to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.”
The following insurance companies have agreed to provide expanded telehealth services through the end of the year:
* Health Net
* Kaiser Permanente
* United Healthcare
In addition to these companies, the Oregon Health Plan will continue to offer pay parity and other allowances for many telehealth services, offering the same rate as an in-person visit for physical health services, behavioral health services, and some dental and long-term care services.
It is important to note that this agreement does not apply to self-insured plans. The state encourages self-insured plans to cover expanded telehealth services for members. These are plans in which an employer assumes the financial risk of providing health care benefits to its employees. Oregonians who have a self-insured plan should check with their employer about their coverage options.
Oregonians are encouraged to contact their insurance company or health care provider if they have questions about using telehealth services.
Visit the Division of Financial Regulation’s COVID-19 telehealth page https://dfr.oregon.gov/covid19-consumers/covid19-c… for frequently asked questions and additional information. For more information on insurance and financial topics, visit the COVID-19 consumer site https://dfr.oregon.gov/covid19-consumers/Pages/cov…