Inside Health Policy spoke with Horizon’s Joel White about telehealth legislation working its way through Congress.
Joel White, founder and president of Horizon Government Affairs, said it is important to make the distinction of what the Biden administration accomplished during the pandemic and how the proposed legislation would function if enacted.
But White also stressed that telehealth as an excepted benefit would not be a replacement for major medical coverage.
“Telehealth was treated basically as standalone plans,” White said. “There’s a term of art here in the Internal Revenue Code, section 9832, which is the definition section under Subsection C that defines excepted benefits.”
“The goal at the end of the day is to get everyone into an Obamacare plan and say that’s good enough,” White said. “What this really is about is allowing employers to offer additional coverage. But they’ve advocated members of Congress that this would be horrible. People would no longer have ACA protection, they wouldn’t have major medical policies — and all that’s false. It’s 100% clean out flat out false.”
White said that it is unfortunate that partisan tensions have surged in past months over telehealth as an excepted benefit.
“I think this would be one of the things that could get signed into law because it is a benefit expansion for workers,” White said. “People who care about workers, who care about adding benefits, who care about giving additional options, especially through telehealth access care, should be 100% behind it.”