Beyond Type 1 Supports Smarter Healthcare Coalition (SHCC) in Urging Congress to Expand Telehealth Coverage
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This article was published in March 2020. The language from the Telehealth Expansion Act has been included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. On March 27, the bill was signed into law.
In a letter to Congress, the Smarter Healthcare Coalition is urging federal lawmakers to throw support behind S. 3539, a bill recently introduced by Montana Senator Steve Daines, that seeks to remove barriers to telehealth in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The bill, called the Telehealth Expansion Act, would allow employers and health plans to cover telehealth pre-deductible in Health Savings Account-eligible high-deductible health plans (HSA-HDHPs). In an effort to lessen the growing strain on the healthcare system during this pandemic, healthcare professionals and lawmakers alike are calling for widening coverage to include telehealth and urging individuals to take advantage of options to receive virtual care.
Beyond Type 1 is a member of the Smarter Healthcare Coalition, which has the goal to “better align health care spending with value, improve patient experiences and lower health care costs by supporting innovative benefit design.” Promoting telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic is an immediate and impactful change we can make in this arena.
Opening up opportunities for patients to be seen in the comfort of their homes can lead to less exposure to those that have contracted COVID-19, especially on the part of healthcare providers. Likewise, seeing more patients virtually is part of a broader effort to conserve resources like masks, gloves, gowns and other supplies and allow them to be used for necessary in-person appointments. It’s also the hope of the Smarter Healthcare Coalition that this expansion of coverage will allow those with chronic conditions to get the necessary care they need and not be overlooked while the healthcare system comes to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic.
This bill takes important measures to make telehealth more accessible for Americans currently enrolled in high deductible health plans. To learn more about telehealth and how to find out if it’s currently an option for you, check out this overview.
For more information about Smarter Healthcare and a list of other coalitions that Beyond Type 1 sits on and supports, click here.