Telehealth Coverage Expanded in Tennessee

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee officially signed telehealth expansion into law on August 20. The revised law expands telehealth coverage—specifically, direct-to-patient coverage—through April 1, 2022. The legislation requires insurance companies to cover telemedicine services in place of in-person visits when medically necessary.

Key takeaways include: 

  • Payment parity: Requires payors to reimburse at the same negotiated rate for a telehealth visit as an in-person visit until April 1, 2022.  
  • Direct-to-patient coverage locations include the patient’s home, place of employment or any other place the patient deems appropriate. 
  • Includes Commercial, TennCare and other state-funded plans
  • Excludes Medicare, other federal payors and ERISA plans  

As of now, direct-to-patient coverage dates are as follows: 

  • CMS, Medicare, other Federal Payors: October 23, 2020
  • TennCare: April 1, 2022
  • United Healthcare commercial: September 30
  • United Healthcare Medicare Advantage: October 22 
  • Humana: October 23 
  • Cigna: December 31 
  • Aetna and BCBS TN: ongoing
  • BCBS Out of State: no date announced 

Commercial payors will likely announce updated coverage dates as a result of the revised law. Stay tuned to the Employer Insights blog for the latest information on telehealth coverage and other important laws affecting area employers.