001collinsSPRINGFIELD – Insurers would be required to inform policyholders whether health care providers offer telehealth or telemedicine and how they’ll accommodate a family caregiver under a plan by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago).

“For some patients with any number of issues—like a lack of ready access to transportation or mobility challenges—the shift to telehealth during the pandemic has actually been something of an upside,” Collins said. “Health care delivery is changing to adapt to this new dynamic, but patients need to know what that looks like as they determine their coverage. This legislation ensures we’re spelling it out clearly.”

Senate Bill 332, which passed the Senate Insurance Committee Wednesday evening, would also require insurance providers to detail whether a health care provider has the ability and willingness to include a family caregiver who is in a separate location than the patient in a telehealth or telemedicine encounter.

“Ensuring this information is explicitly provided to policyholders has the effect going forward of making these services competitive, and hopefully encouraging more providers to offer them,” Collins said. “This could be transformative for families who live far apart but could help care for an aged parent if only we acknowledged that technology now makes it possible.”

Senate Bill 332 awaits consideration before the full Senate.

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