HR Policy Urges Congress to Act on Telehealth Benefits

By D. Mark Wilson posted 11-18-2022 00:00


HR Policy and over 350 other companies and business groups sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to expand access and improve affordability by allowing employers and health plans to offer telehealth health services pre-deductible.

Expanded employer telehealth flexibilities will expire at the end of 2022 without another extension. The letter notes that without congressional action, employers will be required to charge employees more to access telehealth services, creating a barrier to care.

Barrier to mental health care if provision not extended: The letter also notes that in 2022, 75% of large employers offered access to lower- or no-cost mental health support through their telemental health provider. With telemental health, patients are more likely to keep their appointments and continue with their course of therapy. In addition, without extending the current flexibility, employers will be required to charge employees more to access this care, creating a barrier to treatment.

Outlook: Congress is likely to include some mental health provisions in the year-end omnibus legislation. Ideally, it will also include the telehealth extension for at least another year.