May 24, 2021

Members of Congress Suggest Expanding Medicare Telehealth Options

Early on in the pandemic, the federal government expanded telehealth services covered under traditional Medicare on a temporary, emergency basis. Before, only patients who lived in rural areas could access telehealth options from certain providers and under certain conditions. More than one in four beneficiaries has had a telehealth service since March 2020, and government officials are considering whether to make the pandemic expansions permanent.

Several policymakers have introduced bills that would permanently expand the Medicare telehealth benefit. They seek to keep in place the same level of telehealthcare benefits for all beneficiaries that emerged during the pandemic.

“We are pleased that telehealth provides Americans with an opportunity to meet with their doctors in a new — and easier — way for some,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “We need to ensure that telehealth is part of the solution to expanding medical access, but it cannot be the only solution. In-person medical services are still extremely important.”

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