Telehealth from home to be added to Medicare Advantage plan's benefits under new rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a change that will now allow Medicare Advantage insurers to be reimbursed for telehealth services.

Cameron Larson, a Medicare Advantage agent, with The Schultz Group, says Medicare Advantage Plans (also known as Medicare Part C) are health plan options that are part of the Medicare program. If you join one of these plans, you generally get all your Medicare-covered health care through that plan. This coverage can include Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage or you can enroll in a separate Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plan.

Under the proposed rule, Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollees can receive telehealth services from their homes, rather than from a healthcare facility.

MA plans have always been able to offer more telehealth services than are currently payable under original Medicare through supplemental benefits. The Medicare fee-for-service program telehealth benefit is narrowly defined and includes restrictions on where beneficiaries receiving care via telehealth can be located.

Under the proposed rule, MA plans would have greater flexibility to offer clinically-appropriate telehealth benefits that are not otherwise available to Medicare beneficiaries, CMS said.

Today's rule makes it more likely that MA plans will offer the benefits and that more enrollees will be able to use the benefits, CMS said.

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Courtney Larson

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