Friday, 23 Oct 2020

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Some insurers end pandemic waivers of fees for telehealth

No icon Pharmaceuticals

Health Desk- 05 Oct 2020: The coronavirus outbreaks had prompted largest insurers to stop charging co-pays or requiring deductibles for virtual visits, but some consumers will now have to pay those fees again.

Some people are still wary of in-person visits to their doctors and continue to rely on telemedicine, as coronavirus cases mount across the US.

Some people will have to start paying more out of their own pockets for telemedicine appointments, if their virtual visits with doctors are unrelated to Covid-19 and are needed to monitor conditions like diabetes or to check out sudden knee pain.

Two of the largest health insurers, Anthem and UnitedHealthcare, are no longer waiving co-payments and deductibles for some customers beginning on Oct. 1. People who have been relying on telehealth to steer clear of the emergency room or a doctor’s office during the coronavirus pandemic will need to check with their insurers to see how much they will now owe for a virtual visit.

In the early months of the coronavirus crisis, the federal Medicare program and private health insurance companies wanted to encourage people to use alternatives to in-person care by talking with a doctor over video or by telephone.