new bipartisan bill aims to enable employers to offer standalone telehealth programs — like dental and visions plans — in addition to traditional medical health plans.

Introduced in the US House of Representatives Thursday by Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Tim Walberg (R-MI), and Angie Craig (D-MN), the Telehealth Benefit Expansion for Workers Act would classify telehealth as an excepted benefit.

Further, it would amend the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to allow all employees, including part-time and seasonal workers, to receive the excepted benefit.

Per the bill, any standalone telehealth service offered by employers would remain separate from traditional medical plans.

“COVID-19 put a new emphasis on telehealth and showed how impactful and convenient it can be for working families to get care similar to an in-office nurses station,” said DelBene in the press release. “Over the past two years, many employers have begun offering these telehealth services to their workforce. Even with many businesses returning to in-person work, we shouldn’t be turning our backs on the benefits of telehealth. We’re introducing the Telehealth Benefit Expansion for Workers Act so workers can continue receiving this care from the comfort of their homes and on their own schedule.”

Read More…