On Monday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) signed into law a bill (HB 986) that will require health insurers to cover telehealth services, theKansas City Business Journal reports.

The law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The bill states that:

  • Health insurers must cover telehealth services if the same service would be covered during an in-person visit; and
  • Health insurance carriers may not charge more for telehealth visits through higher rates or co-pays.

Previously, only patients who live at least 50 miles away from providers were eligible for insurance coverage of telehealth services in the state, according to the Business Journal (Pfannenstiel,Kansas City Business Journal, 7/8).

New Kentucky Regulations Expand Telehealth Access

In related news, recent changes to Kentucky’s telehealth regulations have boosted Medicaid beneficiaries’ access to health care services via telehealth, Public News Service reports.

Rob Sprang — director of Kentucky TeleCare — said the new regulations expanded the type of health care providers who can treat Medicaid beneficiaries via telehealth technology to include social workers, speech pathologists, physical therapists and other providers.

In addition, the new rules ended limitations on the number and types of health care services that can be provided through telehealth, he said (Stotelmyer, Public News Service, 7/8).


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